Coachella - Saturday 16th April 2011

*file photo* Tattered fashion flag design stirs controversy A fashion controversy is brewing over the growing popularity of a designer top featuring a print of a ripped and tattered American flag. Designers at top French label Balmain are no strangers to using the effects of bleaching and distressed fabrics in their wares, but one of their latest t-shirt creations has hit the headlines for what some have interpreted as a thinly-veiled attack on the U.S. Celebrities like Kate Bosworth and Ke$ha have already been snapped sporting similar designs, and many high street retailers have stocked up on its own take on the $1,515 (£947) Balmain top. Never has showing your patriotism for your country caused so many waves and U.S. army veterans are already weighing in on the latest fashion must-have, criticising designers for desecrating the American flag. Retired soldier George Alatzas tells the New York Post, I think it is a disgrace for a Frenchman or anyone else to desecrate the American flag. Our flag has witnessed many sacrifices. It is the glue that holds our patriotism together. Shame on those who defile it in any way. But the Balmain designers are fully within their legal rights to sell the design, complete with what appear to be faux cigarette burns. Marty Callaghan, spokesman for the American Legion, says, There's no breach of flag etiquette about wearing an article of clothing that happens to be red, white and blue, and that appears like a flag that might be tattered. Some people think these items are in bad taste, but there's nothing we can do or can't do to urge the manufacturer to halt sales of these items We have no issue with these fashion statements. (MT/WNWC) Kate Bosworth Celebrities at the 2011 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - Day 2 Indio, California - 16.04.11 (3 images)

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