July 3, 2014 1:36 pm -

But not enforceable, as it’s in the U.S. code. But no one is going to stop you on the street for wearing this. Except, maybe the fashion police. Hannah Ongley writes:

…there is one thing I have no love for, and that is American flag jorts. Jorts in general are not my favorite thing about summer, particularly not the kind where the hems are so aggressively frayed they resemble the curtains in a gypsy’s trailer or the pockets hang so low they’re effectively saddlebags. What’s seems even worse is a denim diaper having a go at Old Glory.

But are they so bad they’re illegal? Not just fashion police illegal, but like, actually against the law?

Short answer: Yes.

The United States Flag: Federal Law Relating to Display and Associated Questions makes the following declaration:

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, RS-7 the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping in front of the platform, and for a decoration in general.

Though unfortunately, the code is not enforceable by law. Marc Leepson, the author of Flag: An American Biography, explained the phrasing of the U.S. Flag Code thusly:

It has been part of the U.S. Code … since 1942. But the Flag Code is not enforced, and it’s not enforceable. It’s simply a set of guidelines that carries no penalties for noncompliance; it doesn’t even have enforcement provisions. Think of it as a sort of federally mandated Miss Manners manifesto.


D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

No responses to This Piece Of Clothing Is Illegal

  1. R.J. Carter July 3rd, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    If those jorts get any hotter, they might ignite. Then we could have a flag-burning brouhaha.

    • mea_mark July 3rd, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      You must of irritated someone, both your comments here were flagged.

      • Billy Jackson July 3rd, 2014 at 3:05 pm

        Pun intended I assume?

      • R.J. Carter July 3rd, 2014 at 3:16 pm

        Me? Irritate someone? That doesn’t seem like me. 🙂

  2. Billy Jackson July 3rd, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Welp, there goes Alan’s outfit for tomorrow. Dangit!

  3. Anomaly 100 July 3rd, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    I see flag desecration is all the rage now.

    • R.J. Carter July 3rd, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      I’m so incensed, I just want to go over and rip those jorts right off of her.

      For freedom and stuff.

      • Anomaly 100 July 3rd, 2014 at 1:47 pm

        Jinkie, R.J., you’re the bravest guy I know!

      • Bunya July 3rd, 2014 at 2:48 pm

        Are you lusting after the hot babe, you sinner? Get your mind out of the gutter or you’ll be headed straight for hell, where you’ll be forced to look at pictures of Chris Christie wearing those same shorts.

        • R.J. Carter July 3rd, 2014 at 3:13 pm

          Thank the South for inventing the Daisy Dukes. 🙂

          • ChrisVosburg July 3rd, 2014 at 4:43 pm

            Yay south!

    • Jeremy Kuehnau July 3rd, 2014 at 10:47 pm

      It’s a shame anyone would even care about such a thing when we have so many more pressing matters to worried about.

      What someone is doing with our flag is literally the last thing I’d care about.

      • Anomaly 100 July 3rd, 2014 at 11:07 pm

        Exactly, because trolling my comments is soo much more important! You are AWESOME!

        • Jeremy Kuehnau July 4th, 2014 at 1:31 am

          I know it bitch.

  4. Dwendt44 July 3rd, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Outrage from the ‘super patriot’ class at any moment now.
    That’s the right wing nut jobs that are more into symbolism than substance,
    honoring the flag, but ignore the principles behind it.

  5. Trumbull Desi July 3rd, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Well those are butt ugly.

  6. fantagor July 3rd, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    “Do these star and stripes make my crotch look fat?”

  7. Jeffrey Samuels July 3rd, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    the last time the government tried to enforce this law was during the anti war demonstrations of the late 60s and 70s.

    It didn’t turn out well for them as it made wearing a flag a badge of honor to the demonstrators.

  8. Sunka July 3rd, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Actually, they are illegal only if they are made from an actual American flag. Prints are ok. Obviously the flag does have sex appeal ….which is what really matters right?

  9. bhil July 4th, 2014 at 8:03 am

    How about the American flag inspired headband the Duck Bros. wear? Or are they allowed?

    • Debra Fauvor July 6th, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      Not as tacky looking as across the butt.

  10. Debra Fauvor July 6th, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    The way it looks with the stringy hem to look more wore out…one word for it…wait for it…wait for it…CLASSY!!!!