Nothing makes an American swell with pride more than symbols of freedom, liberty, and bravery. And nothing captures these values in quite the same way as the American flag. This is why the American flag (and its likeness) is one of the most popular images requested on printed t-shirts.
But not all American flag t-shirts are made equal, and it can be easy to make unintentional mistakes if you don’t follow the proper guidelines. To honor and respect those who most valiantly represent the flag and its meaning, printing the flag correctly is crucial. Still, we’ve seen our fair share of shirts with the American flag printed improperly, with two errors rising to the top.
Stars to the Front
This rule mainly applies when the American flag is printed on a shirt, sweatshirt, or jacket sleeve. The main idea here is that the flag should always mimic how it would be positioned as if it were being carried into battle. In other words, the stars should always be to the front of the body, with the flag’s stripes flowing behind.
This rule only applies when the American flag is printed on the sleeve. There are no hard and fast rules about publishing the flag on any other part of the shirt, though positioning the stars in the upper left corner is the most common.
It’s important to know that we have requirements to use the design files sent to us. This has caused some confusion, especially when clients assume that we adjust colors if they are off in the design file. This is a common assumption, as “royal blue” actually has many variations when considering things like saturation and hue. Additionally, people don’t see colors exactly the same as the next person, which often causes issues when people try to guess the best colors to use in a t-shirt design (i.e., a college student trying to design a t-shirt by guessing the school’s official RGB formula.)
This is why we are sure to speak to clients about the true colors of the American flag early to avoid timely edits or delays.
Here are the exact shades for the red and blue of the flag across the different color systems:
If you’re planning to print an American flag any time soon, keeping these colors close by will be helpful when creating your logo or design.
Now, we know what you’re thinking; why would I need to worry about these colors? If I use an image from the internet, shouldn’t it already have the right colors?
The short answer is that it should, but not everyone is privy to these rules. Double-checking the image file from the internet will save you time and energy in the long run.
Additionally, not everyone who wants to display their love of country chooses to use the American flag as their symbol. We are regularly asked to print t-shirts with custom designs that use the American flag colors. Having a cheat sheet of these colors can make creating these designs a breeze!
If you’re ready to display your American pride, we’re prepared to help!