In today's American culture we see a lot of flags - not just on flagpoles, but on t-shirts, quilts, wallhangings, shoes, etc. I think that part of this is the result of increased patriotism as a result of 9/11. I took the time to look up information on flag ettiquette and found some interesting things relating to quilts and clothing. Take a look and see what you think - I checked out these two sites, but there are more out there. Some things to look for: what is a flag? where is it NOT appropriate to use a flag? Is a flag appropriate for a quilt? How about flag fabrics - appropriate or not?
OOOOOhhhhhh! Opening a can of worms, are we? I have worn a t-shirt with the flag on it. I have never made a flag quilt or bought flag material. I remember on "Barney Miller" (giving hints at my age!) when they arrested a guy who had a flag patch on the butt of his jeans and one of the cops was really ticked about that. It has always stuck with me. The rules are pretty clear, but they are etiquette. So no one will arrest you for making a flag quilt! I think most people see it as either a sign of patriotism or country decorating.
The second link was an interesting reread (yes I remember reading this one a while ago).
So KAS it looks like your old tshirt needs to be retired in dignity.
Lots of 'things' are out if it looks like a flag. I quote, "a flag is anything "by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag."
NoNos are quilts, ties, tshirts, shorts, napkins, cakes, and even in the background of advertising (Ford was mentioned) and postage stamps.
You can repair the tattered ends of flags as long as the stripes end up longer than the blue field.
My husband and I have lots of Old Navy flag t-shirts and wear them often. Never thought about them as "real flags". We wear them with pride in the USA.
I remember being told in Girl Scouts never ever to let the flag touch the ground and whoever got to hold it at our weekly meetings was religious about following that instruction.
You can also get flag information and etiquette in World Almanac. It is a useful tool for students. They can use it for class projects.
I agree with Kas and Mrs.Fitz. I honor and fly my flag all the time. When I moved here no one flew a flag. Now half the houses have them. I also make quilts with flag prints in them. The guys and girls at the Vets Hospital want R/W/B patriotic prints in their quilts. The wounded don't have any problem getting under them.