We're taking back the flag.

June 14, 2018 20 Comments

We're taking back the flag.

Okay, quick thought experiment: what do you envision when someone says "'patriot' in an American flag shirt"? If you're like me, you probably picture someone like this. 

Maybe you think of people who say the Parkland activists are actors; who tell black and brown people to go home; who say kneeling to protest police brutality is disrespectful to the flag. Maybe "guy in an American flag shirt" conjures up that mean, angry old white dude who punched a peaceful black man trying to peacefully make his way out of a Trump rally. 

I imagine those types of people too, and that's heartbreaking. Because the American flag shouldn't stand for hate and intolerance.

So two years ago I decided to design an American flag shirt for the rest of us. One that would reclaim the flag for what Michelle Obama once called "our national virtues."

Love. Compassion. Kindness. Hope. Generosity. Justice. Peace. Diversity. Equality. Fairness. Determination. Tolerance. Grit. Tenacity. Honor. Heart. Community. Resilience. Empathy. Unity. Understanding. Freedom. Honesty. Inclusivity. Pride. Passion. Vision. Wisdom. Integrity. Acceptance.

It started with this call for help:

"Friends, I think for some of us, 4th of July can be conflicting. Yeah, we want to dress up in flag gear and celebrate our country for all its wonders, but maybe the people you see waving the flag around or wearing flag shirts are not necessarily proud of the same things that you are.

So here's what I want to try to do: I want to try to make an American flag design where the stripes are comprised of words like compassion, understanding, justice, equality, liberty, love, etc. To show the American flag as a symbol of the things that we do love and should love about this country. It's an ambitious design idea and I don't know if I can pull it off but I feel like we all could kind of use this perspective on America right now and I'd like to try.

So... I could really use your help with words of love for America!"

That was BEFORE Donald Trump became president. Today, we need this shirt, this reminder, more than ever. Because while there is so much rotten going on in America right now, and hence so much conflict over the flag that symbolizes our great nation, there is more than that. 

My friends remembered the love of Martin Luther King, Jr. They remembered Obama’s hope. Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates’ generosity.

They remembered that we are a nation of everyday kindness, of compassion. We’re Hamilton’s grit and determination; Washington’s honor; the pride of millions of LGBTQ folks. We are tolerance and acceptance. 

My friends could still still see the deep, great, amazing heart of America, the heart of understanding and freedom and fairness and justice and peace. 

Their words came together in a gorgeous celebration of our deepest values as Americans, forming a flag we can all be proud of. A flag that shows that despite the current ramshackle state of our national integrity and morality, America has good bones. It is a country where love will overcome hate in the end. Our country was designed that way, and our shirt was too. We named the t-shirt design "America the Wonderful."

Surprisingly or not, it made people a few people mad. Our flag includes words like “pride” and “inclusivity” and “tolerance” and “acceptance.” And those words, they aren’t so popular with everyone right now. Even on this blog post, note the comment below from Eric (who, despite his claim of having shopped with us previously, is not in our order database) labeling us "race baiting fascist left".

People like Eric go to great efforts to say hateful things about our positive shirt. Why? Some people want brown people out of our country. They want to go so far as to build a wall to keep them on their side of the border. But we’ll fight for our fellow humans who want a new life, and for our LGBTQ friends, and for children who just want to be safe in school. We’re on your side. We have your backs. We believe in a different America.

We need to wear our love like a breastplate, our justice like armor. Because love is what will prevail. When hate is loud, love must not be silent. We will spring up in our love, hundreds and thousands and millions of us, all of who will say no more, and our love will win the day.

Love, love, love is what will take back our country.

And in the meantime, we’ve taken back our flag.

NEW TO FREE TO BE KIDS

We design and create baby, kids, and even a few grownup clothes with positive messages and nary a gender cliche in sight. We believe clothes send a message, and our mission is to flip the script on gender cliches and spread positive messages one fashion statement at a time.


20 Responses

Jenny L Halasz
Jenny L Halasz

August 21, 2018

If you make this into a flag, let me know. I want to buy it! I took our American flag down and haven’t flown it since 2016. I love America and want to celebrate it again, but I can’t bring myself to fly the US Flag until 45 is out of office. I would fly this one proudly.

Becky
Becky

July 04, 2018

Please make this into a flag! I took my American flag down when Trump was elected and I want to put up something that shows I love this country, just not the current version of it.

Benna
Benna

July 04, 2018

This morning, 4th of July 2018, I put on my new (adult) Take Back the Flag Tshirt. It touched my heart and I found myself saying, out loud, “this makes me so happy”. Thank you.

Kate
Kate

July 03, 2018

Can we buy the image of the print so we could use it for a sign? I would love that!

Susan Bryan
Susan Bryan

July 02, 2018

Your shirt designs are wonderful. Are the shirts made in America? And are they printed by union printers?

Pam
Pam

June 28, 2018

I’m so glad I found these and ordered them for my grandkiddos! Kudos to you for taking the high road. :)

Sara Kimme
Sara Kimme

June 26, 2018

Thank you for this!

Kathy
Kathy

June 23, 2018

This shirt design actually made me cry. It is so beautiful and powerful, THANK YOU for creating it.

Christie Baker
Christie Baker

June 22, 2018

Yes!!! I was just thinking about theses concepts the other day!!

Brittany
Brittany

June 21, 2018

Thank you for this hope filled design. As a veteran, these are the things that I signed up to defend.

Tara Morgan
Tara Morgan

June 20, 2018

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE make this flag design as a real 3′×5′ flag to hang on a house, etc!!!

I took our Anerican flag off the front of our house after Charlottesville, and I don’t intend on putting it back up anytime soon.

I am so SOOO disgusted, and I feel as if 45 has turned our beautiful flag into something preverted. I know in my heart that someday this will all be over. But until then, I’d love to see an alternative message, or the REAL AMERICA flying proudly on our house again!

Please let me know if this is in fact your companies plan!!

Thank You,
Tara

Laura
Laura

June 20, 2018

THIS. Every word of this. I want to buy a million of these shirts. Thank you. Thank you for everything your company stands for, and for the hope you give me for our future. My kiddos will be rocking this shirt and continuing to inspire others as a result.

Jennifer Lewis
Jennifer Lewis

June 19, 2018

I don’t think I can love this hard enough! I’m so happy with the idea of reclaiming the flag for GOOD in this country.

Sarah G
Sarah G

June 18, 2018

I love this design and everything it means. Proud to be American. Proud to be feminist. Ordered two, one for each of my twins. Keep up the good work!!

Ralee Riesenberg
Ralee Riesenberg

June 16, 2018

Yes! I’m so impressed with your company for remembering what this country is really about. I would be proud to have my child wear this shirt.

Caroline
Caroline

June 16, 2018

I love this authentic version of America! Keep up the good work!

Allison
Allison

June 16, 2018

I’ve never seen this, but I LOVE it!! I too am very conflicted with the flag, and I love this message of positivity that you have designed. We need more of this!

Eric
Eric

June 16, 2018

I used to shop from your company but your new philosophy is dispicable and certainly NOT patriotic. When I picture a patriot I think of a veteran that sacrificed for this great country. Your company has now become race bating and fascist left with your new philosophy. I’m sure like others just like you your company will be out of business soon.

Angie
Angie

June 15, 2018

I love, love, LOVE this!! Seriously sent chills up my spine. Such a moving reminder that there are still decent people in this country.

Sarah Tyo
Sarah Tyo

June 15, 2018

As a feminist mama to two little boys, I LOVE this clothing line. Thank you!!!

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