On Friday, the nation celebrates Flag Day, yet at the mall it seems the celebration has begun early.
After 236 years, Old Glory is trendy; the Stars and Stripes adorn every surface imaginable, from stilettos to denim shorts to sunglasses.
At Express, sequins composed the flag on a tube top; at Old Navy, stars and stripes show up on swim trunks.
A black-and-white vintage version appears on a shirt from Jessica Simpsons clothing line. Teenyboppers will find red, white and blue skirts and T-shirts featuring hearts instead of the classic stars at Justice.
Some might find the look disrespectful or distasteful, but its not breaking any rules. The United States Flag Code, laid out in the United States Code to outline proper flag etiquette, states that the design of the Star-Spangled Banner is allowed on clothing, but an actual American flag cannot be used as apparel, bedding or drapery.
Josh Saterman, vice president fashion director at Macys, says patriotism has always been en vogue.
Its fun, and it speaks to the larger trend of pride for our country, he says of the iconography.
The flag can be worn in so many different ways, and each demographic, region, climate zone and individual can play with which silhouettes and details speak to them the most.
Designers tend to play around with the pattern as well. Betsey Johnson features the flag in many of her lines accessories, replacing the stars with grommets and rhinestones. Her Americana collection includes iPhone and iPad cases, wallets and handbags.
Arlene Goldstein, vice president of trend merchandising and fashion direction for Belk, says the flag design has been a tradition in fashion for a long time. This year, the flags popularity has slightly increased, as it coexists with this seasons stripe trend, she says.
Another reason for the spike in flag paraphernalia: In the summertime, people become more overt with their patriotism, Goldstein says. Holidays like Memorial Day and Independence Day are prime time for patriotic dressage. The most popular articles of clothing sporting the Stars and Stripes are T-shirts, she says.
Designers who frequently display their American pride in their lines include Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. Retailer Urban Outfitters has American Summer and Salute the Flag collections on its website, offering more than 80 flag-adorned items.