You wouldn’t expect to see too many American flags in Iran, would you? Well, the truth is, there are a lot of them. Surprisingly, many of them are seen in a positive light! And they’re all out in the open, not hidden in some dark alley.
As you scroll through the first section of pictures, you’ll see what you’d expect to see – the U.S. flag in a negative light.
However, keep scrolling! Those negative flags were vastly overshadowed by those that were displayed and worn in a positive light. To my amazement, I found them in bakeries, cafes, small shops, bazaars, on the streets, and elsewhere.
In fact, the American flag can even be seen at Persepolis, which is the #1 tourist attraction in Iran!
To get started, I’ll show you the most notorious and infamous of all the American flags in Iran.
Note: Click on any picture to enlarge it.
As we drove down the highway in Tehran, my tour guide and friend, Soroush, drove us to this ultra historical site. “If you want to get the best shot,” he said, “get in the back seat and sit on the left.” I took his advice and waited for his queue to start filming. A few moments later, it was in focus. The “DOWN WITH THE U.S.A.” mural is quite possibly the most well-known, anti-US propaganda in the world. After we drove past the mural, we parked on a nearby road, I climbed up the wall, and took this picture.
Another infamous mural is painted on the wall that surrounds the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran. I talked about the embassy in an earlier post.
In the lobby of my Tehran hotel, I found this newspaper. The publisher is a non-profit organization called the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines & Agriculture. In the photo, U.S. president Trump is flanked by the American flag on an iPhone and the Chinese flag on an Android phone. Obviously, the article is about the stressed, U.S.-China economic relationship.
The United States military, representin’ in Iran
These military-style pants with “U.S. ARMY” stitched into them are a lot more popular than you think. They’re sold all over Iran. This picture was taken in the bazaar at the breathtakingly beautiful and massive Naghshe Jahan Square in Isfahan (sometimes spelled “Esfahan”).
This picture was also taken at the Naqsh-e Jahan Square bazaar, but at a different shop. Both of the military-style pants on the right and left have “U.S. ARMY” stitched into them.
Are you the ultimate fan of the United States military? If so, you may like this camouflaged t-shirt that has “U.S. ARMY” all over it! We found this at a local shop in Shooshtar.
By now, maybe you’re asking yourself, “But, would anybody ever buy this sort of merchandise and also be brave enough to wear it outside?” Absolutely! Here’s a hard-working baker wearing military-style pants with “U.S ARMY” stitched into them. We visited his friendly bakery while on our way from Rasht to Masuleh. Their pastries are so delicious and famous, they have to limit each customer to 50 pastries or fewer!
More pictures of American flags in Iran
Was this camouflaged hat made in the USA? Not a chance! But apparently, somebody thought the hat would sell better with an American flag on it. We saw this at the same local shop in Shooshtar that I mentioned above.
What did the designer have in mind with this t-shirt? We’ll never know who those skeletons in suits are supposed to represent. It’s open to interpretation. But let me ask your opinion: if I told you they were American politicians and bureaucrats, would you feel sorry, or maybe a little joyful?
All over the world, I’ve seen t-shirts in broken English – even in Europe. No matter what country I’ve been to, the words on t-shirts were almost always in English. Iran was no different. This shirt is a perfect example. If you didn’t know English, you might think the shirt looks cool. Apparently, much of the world has an obsession with English t-shirts, as opposed to t-shirts with their native language. To me, that dynamic will always be quite fascinating.
Just to the left of the center, you can see an American flag with a skull and crossbones on it. If you look all the way in the upper right hand corner, you can see a US-British flag hybrid stitched onto a shirt. And of course, you spotted Freddy from “Friday the 13th”, didn’t you?
This picture is packed with pro-US shirts! Remember you can click on any picture to enlarge it. Top left: the U.S. Army 101st Airborne logo; “USA”; and some sort of 3-star, U.S. flag shield. Second from top left: an American flag, an ‘Obey’ logo, and a patch that says “ENJOY LIFE NOW THIS IS NOT A REHEARSAL”. Top right: a black and white American flag across the sleeves and chest. Bottom left: two American flags. Bottom right: an American flag and a patch that says “GOOD VIBES ONLY”.
This clothing store is in Tehran. Just to the right of center, the phrase “USA 1989” makes up the American flag on that aqua colored t-shirt. Also, notice the black shirt on the top right has the New York Yankees logo. I saw countless Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers logos throughout my month-long road trip through Iran.
I saw these socks in the Kermanshah Bazaar. From left to right: baby socks with the flags of Britain, Germany, America, and Greece (although, I could be wrong about the Greece flag).
The same vendor who was selling the baby socks was also selling these socks. From left to right: adult socks with the flags of the United States, France, Brazil, and Britain.
I noticed this stamp collection at a cafe in Tabriz. Top left: American flag stamps with the Capitol Building. Top right: Iranian flag stamps. On the Iranian flag stamps, that appears to be a hand placing a vote in a ballot box.
After we entered the #1 tourist attraction in Iran, Persepolis, I spotted this New York hat with American flags.
On my very first day in Iran, we met this happy, pro-American Iranian in Tehran. Seeing him was a wake-up call. Everything I thought I knew about Iranians had to be thrown out the window and forgotten. I’m glad I was able to see an Iranian wearing an American flag t-shirt on my first day.
Before my visit, if you would’ve told me I’d see American flags in Iran, portrayed in a positive or even neutral light, I might’ve believed that I’d see a few. But only in very discreet moments and places. I certainly never thought that I’d see the American flag on a pair of yoga pants. However, when we visited the Kermanshah Bazaar, there they were. The next time you see an Iranian woman wearing a burka or a chador, you never know – she just might be wearing American flag yoga pants underneath!
Did you expect that?
I’m guessing you didn’t anticipate seeing those sorts of pictures from inside Iran. If you want to learn more of the truth about Iran, check out some of my other posts about my 4,000 mile road trip: