Dear Sports Illustrated,
I recently learned that you are going to have a past Olympian pose nude, wrapped in an American flag displaying her gold medals on an upcoming issue. While you can have whomever you want on the covers and pages of your magazines, I’m asking you to rethink your cover image.
The U.S. Flag Code, section 4-(d) states: “The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery….”
The American Flag is meant to be honored and respected, as are the men and women who fight to defend it. By using the American Flag as a garment you are disrespecting our flag. You are disrespecting our military. You are disrespecting America.
Now, I know this probably isn’t the first time you have used the American Flag as a garment, but to be perfectly honest, those were wrong and disrespectful too. This isn’t about who you chose to have as a model, but what you are having that model wear.
Please take a moments to educate yourself, your editorial staff, and your photographers about proper flag etiquette. Here are several resources for your reference.
I hope to never see the flag disrespected on the cover or pages of Sports Illustrated. Please think before you act, and decide if this is really the perception you want to give to the American people.