LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Old Glory is getting a new look that some critics say is anything but patriotic.
The trendy item — complete with with holes resembling cigarette burns and safety pins holding together the frayed openings along the sides — is fetching upwards of $1,500 this spring after its debut from French design firm Balmain.
Celebrities like Kate Bosworth and Ke$ha have been spotted wearing knockoffs of the original at the recent Coachella music festival in Indio, but critics say the shirt is disrespectful and in plain old bad taste.
Fashion expert Alexander Allen tells KFWB 980’s Maggie McKay those criticisms are unfounded.
“I think those are people who are a little too sensitive and thinking too hard about it,” Allen said. “It’s nothing against America…this is fashion, and in fashion it’s all about escapism.”
Balmain is no stranger to stirring controversy: last spring the design house released a ripped-up T-shirt for a staggering $1,625 that ended up being one of its biggest sellers.
So we know some forward fashionistas will take the risk of wearing a replica of a desecrated flag, but is it illegal?
Not according to federal law.
The U.S. Flag Code states that the flag should never be worn as an article of clothing, but only if the garment is originally made from an actual U.S. flag.