The American Flag in Print Ads throughout History

The US flag is one of the most recognizable symbols all over the world; see the American flag in print ads throughout history. What do you think?

Oscar De La Hoya with American flag robe

The US flag is a very powerful symbol in American culture. The stars, stripes and three distinct colors easily evoke feelings of patriotism and pride for many US citizens. For this reason, many advertisers throughout history have chosen to use the flag in their print ads to make the product feel more ‘American.’ However, do they always follow proper flag etiquette?

The popular ‘Got Milk?’ campaign used an American flag-inspired robe in one of their print ads from 1996. The ad featured boxer Oscar De La Hoya with the iconic milk mustache and a US flag robe draped over his shoulders. The image is intended to spark a milk craving after reading the words of a famous American athlete. However, the flag code states that no one shall wear the American flag as clothing. While De La Hoya isn’t wearing an actual flag, only a robe designed to look like one, it may not be the best way to show Old Glory respect.

Campbell Soup Can American flag

In the early 1960’s, Campbell’s soups produced this American flag-inspired advertisement. Using their iconic red and white soup labels, they creatively laid the cans out to make their own version of an American flag. This vintage ad also drew inspiration from Andy Warhol, a famous American artist at the time who commonly painted Campbell soup cans. Using the cans to form the flag helps to reinforce the brand’s American roots.

Kodak American flag in jar ad

Kodak also created a print ad in 1975 that utilized Old Glory. The ad was titled, “America,” and pictured an American flag rolled up and encased in a glass bottle. The photograph used was taken by Phil Marco, aimed to reinforce that Kodak is a US brand and by buying their products you are supporting domestic business. The flag is not folded in a traditional triangle manner, but still shows off the US flag in a unique and interesting way.

What do you think of the American flag ads? Do they inspire you to buy or try the products or ignore the brand completely?

Credit: DemocratAndChronicle | WarholStars | Ebay

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