Patriotic apparel is not only fashionable, but it is also a great way to show your American pride and love of country. Service pride is something that can easily be displayed by the wearing of patriotic apparel.
While some people might argue that patriotic apparel that has a U.S. flag on it is not patriotic apparel since it violates U.S. Code, in particular rules about the U.S. flag, there are easy workarounds if you want to show love of country and service loyalty.
Hats are great patriotic apparel and hats won’t break the bank. You can get a nice, customized hat with your unit or ship information on it, or you can get something specific to your occupational specialty. There are also plenty of hats to choose from that simply display what branch of service you were in. Much depends on your taste, budget and the occasion. Some veterans like to rock service pride hats as a daily clothing item, while others save them for special occasions like Veterans Day or Memorial Day.
Whether it is a custom polo shirt, or an off the rack t-shirt, military shirts make great patriotic apparel, and they can be worn in a variety of situations. In addition to the days previously mentioned, if you are a member of a veterans’ service organization, these are great to wear to meetings and organizational events. If you’re still on active duty, the Guard or reserve, consider buying something that shows your esprit de corps in your specialty. Polo shirts are great for more formal unit events like community service, golf outings or even casual off duty unit functions. T-shirts are certainly more casual, and you can wear those to unit barbecues or other similar outdoor type of functions.
The rise of hoodies as a fashionable clothing item exploded on the urban fashion scene years ago and the hoodie is now one of the most popular clothing items around. Like hats and shirts, these are great patriotic apparel, and you can purchase something that shows service pride, or hoodies that show occupational loyalty like infantry, aviation, armor, military police, etc.
Patriotic apparel doesn’t just have to be casual or business casual though. There are plenty of patriotic apparel items like ties that you can wear on patriotic holidays like Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Independence Day and even your service’s birthday, especially if you are attending formal ceremonies or events.
A lot of sweater manufacturers make patriotic apparel. High-end brands known for using the American flag as an attractive symbol to lure consumers are popular. As mentioned, 4 U.S. Code subsection 8 outlines what can/can’t be done with the American flag, but the American public seems flexible about how the flag is used.
For example, did you know that the U.S. flag cannot be carried flat, but in many professional sporting events giant flags are carried flat onto the field for the National Anthem. The intent of the sporting event isn’t to desecrate or dishonor the flag, so that is likely overlooked by many Americans. The same goes with clothing. While having an American flag on an item of clothing is technically illegal, most companies create the clothing items to celebrate America and her freedoms.
To arm you with knowledge, we are providing the U.S. Code as it applies to the American flag just in case that’s a line you don’t want to cross.
No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.
(a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
(b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.
(c) The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.
(e) The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
(f) The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
(h) The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
(k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.