First Blood - what was wrong with Rambo's flag?

In First Blood, Teasle tells Rambo that a man with “that flag” on his jacket in this town is asking for trouble. The flag is an ordinary US flag. Why would wearing that flag be asking for trouble in that town? Was it a Southern town retaining civil war resentment? I always thought it happened somewhere up north, where wearing the Dixie flag is more likely to invite trouble.

Because Rambo had long hair and looked like a drifter. Hippies don’t get to touch Old Glory in red states.

Really? Was this a reality? A long-haired drifter wearing the flag would really be asking for trouble in small, conservative towns in the late seventies/early eighties?

By the way, which state was it? It’s been years since I read the book, but I seem to remember it being Oregon.

It is Oregon in the movie.

The “Easy Rider” mindset still exists in rural America, sad to say.

So if I were to walk into a rural town with long hair and a US flag on my jacket, I might still today get into trouble because of it?

I remember from my youth that there was a lot of question as to whether or not it was respectful to wear a flag as part of your clothing.

Depends on your attitude. I’m not saying it is likely to happen (officially). But it just might happen (unofficially).

Interesting question. Worthy of its own thread, I think. IMHO, here I come.

What you call hell, he calls home.

Maybe it had fifty stars and they’ll be in the cold, cold ground before they recognize Missourah…


In the book, which I can just barely remember, it made a bit more sense because that came out in the late 60’s or early 70’s when there was still an us/them thing going on between short haired and long haired people. When the movie came out a few years later, that attitude seemed like an anachronism even then.

Been years and years since I’ve seen the movie, so my recollection is shaky at best, but wasn’t it sewn on to his old military jacket, as part of his former uniform?

Supposedly-- but it was really Pitt Meadows and out beyond Hope, here in B.C., where our rednecks are unreasonably jingoistic about back-bacon and beer, and flags are mainly used as classy window coverings. :wink: