Musicians have been wearing the American flag at their concerts for nearly as long as there’s been rock music.
You can see dozens of photos of your favorite rock stars sporing the stars and stripes as a cape or on their hats, jackets, guitars and clothing below.
Naturally the vast majority of the artists in this gallery were born and raised in the United States, but you’ll also find English and Irish rock stars such as Mick Jagger and Bono wearing American flag-themed clothing.
During U2‘s 2002 Super Bowl halftime show, Bono opened his jacket to reveal an American flag lining. It was one of many highlights from an emotional show that included a tribute to the nearly 3,000 people who were killed during the 9/11 attacks the previous year.
You’ll also find Elton John paying tribute to Old Glory with both his pants and a sky-high mohawk hairstyle, The stars-and-stripes themed hat Jagger wore at the Rolling Stones‘ ill-fated Altamont festival and Axl Rose‘s bicycle shorts from Guns N’ Roses‘ 1991 Rock in Rio set.
The US flag code specifies that the flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery. But according to the American Legion, as long as these clothes are just designs and not made out of actual American flags no laws are being broken in any of these photos. Plus, as Flag: An American Biography author Marc Leepson told CNBC, “You have to look at is as a series of guidelines. There’s no flag police. No one’s going to get arrested.”
So to quote David Lee Roth, “Raise the flag, baby / Let’s see who salutes!”
Artists Wearing the American Flag
See rock’s biggest stars sporting the red, white and blue.