The trashed tank, from French design house Balmain, is besieged with holes that look like cigarette burns and is held together at its open sides with safety pins. The item has been so popular that knockoff versions have been sported by celebs, including Kesha and Kate Bosworth, at the fashion-forward Coachella music festival.
The flag top sold out within minutes on e-commerce site Net-a-Porter, according to the New York Post. But outside the fashion world, folks are taking offense. The Post quoted retired Army soldier George Alatzas, who runs flag activism website “It’s All About the Flag,” who said, “Our flag has witnessed many sacrifices. It is the glue that holds our patriotism together. Shame on those who defile it in any way.”
While some believe the trashed tank is a fashion (and patriotic) faux pas, there’s no law against wearing a flag print. The U.S. Flag Code, a federal law about the proper use of Old Glory, states that the flag should never be worn — but that’s only if the garment is made from an actual U.S. flag.
“There’s no breach of flag etiquette about wearing an article of clothing that happens to be red, white and blue, and that appears like a flag that might be tattered,” said Marty Callaghan, spokesman for the American Legion. The organization is lobbying for an amendment to the Constitution that would protect the flag from desecration.
“Some people think these items are in bad taste, but there’s nothing we can do or can’t do to urge the manufacturer to halt sales of these items,” Callaghan said. “We have no issue with these fashion statements.”