The Full Wiki

Anti-Flag: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Background information
Origin Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Genres Punk rock
Pop punk
Years active 1988–1989,[1] 1993–present
Labels New Red Archives
Go Kart
Fat Wreck Chords
Associated acts NOFX
The Bad Genes
Bouncing Souls
The Unseen
Rage Against The Machine
Bullet Treatment
Billy Talent
The King Blues
Rise Against
Justin Sane
Chris #2
Chris Head
Pat Thetic
Former members
Andy Flag
Lucy Fester
Sean Whelan
Jamie Cock

Anti-Flag is an American punk rock band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania known for their outspoken views on American government. Most recently, the band has focused criticism on the United States bailouts.[2]



Early years (1988–1995)

Anti-Flag was formed in 1988 by singer/guitarist Justin Sane and drummer Pat Thetic. During the band's early years, various guitarists and bassists moved in and out of the band, including Justin's sister, Lucy Fester (aka Lucy Geever-Conroy) formerly of Chicago band Toothpaste. The band failed to solidify, and it fell apart after playing just one show.[3] In 1993, Justin and Pat reformed the band, now with Andy Flag on bass, but that wouldn't last either.

First three albums (1996–1999)

In 1996, the band released their first album, Die For the Government, on New Red Archives. Andy Flag left the band in the Summer of 1996 because of personal disputes between himself and Justin. For a brief time after Andy's departure in 1996, Sean Whelan of Pittsburgh band the Bad Genes filled in on bass. It was during this time that Sean was also playing in another band (57 Defective) with guitarist Chris Head, whom he introduced to the band.

In early 1997, Pittsburgh guitarist Chris Head began filling in on bass. In late 1997, Jamie Cock took over as the new bassist, moving Chris Head over to second guitar, which he preferred. The current line-up finalized in 1999 when Chris Barker, also known as Chris #2, replaced Jamie Cock on bass.

In 1998, the band released their second full-length release, Their System Doesn't Work For You. The album contained all nine Anti-Flag songs from the 1996 Anti-Flag/d.b.s. split album North America Sucks, as well as 10 new unreleased songs. The band decided to release the album independently, and Their System Doesn't Work For You became the debut release for the band's own Olympic Records.

In 1999, Anti-Flag released the album A New Kind of Army on Go-Kart Records/A-F Records. The album addressed a wide variety of topics such as political corruption, racism, fascism, troubled youth, police brutality, and unity within the American youth. The cover art page unfolded into a poster featuring the phrase "Too smart to fight. Too smart to kill. Join now. A new kind of army."

Fat Wreck Chords (2000–2004)

In 2000, Anti-Flag was invited to participate in Vans Warped Tour. During this time, the members of Anti-Flag met NOFX's Fat Mike, owner of the Fat Wreck Chords record label. This meeting spawned a friendship that would lead to Anti-Flag's release of two albums on the label.

In 2001, Anti-Flag teamed with legendary punk producer Mass Giorgini to record the album Underground Network, released on Fat Wreck Chords. The release of the album is arguably the band's breakout from the hardcore underground to a more mainstream spotlight. The album continued to address the issues of fascism (specifically neo-Nazis infiltrating the "hardcore scene") and the United States' foreign policy. The album was the first to contain the now-commonplace booklet filled with essays from historians and political commentators, most notably Professor Howard Zinn. In February 2002, Anti-Flag released the album Mobilize on A-F Records. The album featured new songs as well as eight live tracks of songs from other albums. In the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States, Anti-Flag spoke out against the push for war by the United States government. During this time, many music stores pulled Anti-Flag's records from shelves, as their music was labelled as "anti-American."[4] In 2003, Anti-Flag released the album The Terror State on Fat Wreck Chords. The album primarily focused on criticizing the Bush Administration's handling of the War on Terrorism. Again, the album contained a booklet full of essays from the band as well as other political commentators. The album contains a song whose lyrics were originally written by Woody Guthrie entitled "Post-War Breakout." The track's music was arranged by the members of Anti-Flag, as Guthrie had never committed the arrangements to paper.

On October 8, 2004, U.S. Representative Jim McDermott gave a speech in the House of Representatives, praising Anti-Flag for their work in encouraging young people to register and vote.[5]

RCA (2005–2009)

In 2005, Anti-Flag signed a two-album record contract with major label RCA. The first of these two albums, For Blood and Empire, was released on March 21, 2006. The album's main focus is the band's criticism of the mishandling of the War on Terrorism by the United States Government. The song 'This Is The End (For You My Friend)' from the album For Blood and Empire is featured in the video game Madden NFL 2007 and on NHL 07. They finished their huge "War Sucks, Let's Party" United States headlining tour in April and work on some side projects like African Well Fund and Start to Finish MS now.

Throughout Anti-Flag's career, many other bands have been added to the roster of the band's own label, A-F Records. These bands include The Code, Pipedown, Much the Same, The Vacancy, The Unseen, Modey Lemon and more.

On November 25, Anti-Flag revealed on their homepage that their newest album was titled The Bright Lights of America. Produced by Tony Visconti (of David Bowie and Morrissey fame), it was released on April 1, 2008. The single "The Bright Lights Of America" was released exclusively on iTunes on February 12, 2008. A video of the song was released a couple of weeks later.

In 2008, on tour with Canadian band Billy Talent in Europe, Justin Sane and Chris #2 joined Billy Talent singer Ben Kowalewicz and guitarist Ian D'Sa, singing their new song "Turn Your Back" from their upcoming unreleased album. The two also play on the album and single versions of the song.

In March 2009, Anti-Flag were forced to cancel a series of tour dates after Justin Sane broke his collar bone landing awkwardly whilst jumping off the stage to stop a fight which broke out in the crowd at the UEA LCR in Norwich.[6]

SideOneDummy (2009-present)

Beginning on September 30, 2008, Chris #2 began to post on his blog, at[1], that the band had begun to work on their seventh studio album. On December 2, Anti-Flag began to record their record, starting with "The Economy is Suffering... Let It Die".

On March 31, 2009, Anti-Flag announced that their next CD, The People or the Gun, would be released on SideOneDummy on June 9, 2009. On, the first track of the album "Sodom, Gomorrah, and Washington DC (Sheep in Shepherd's Clothing)" can be listened to. On May 1, 2009, the band performed a full set of The Clash covers at Hoodwink in East Rutherford, New Jersey.[7]

In September 2009 Anti-Flag was slated to play a show during a G-20 protest that was taking place in their home town of Pittsburgh, but the promoter canceled the show due to severe parking restrictions and police presence in the immediate vicinity of the venue.

In November 2009 Anti-Flag showed their support to the protesting students in Vienna, They made a speech at the main building of the Vienna University that the students had taken over and they got one of the representatives of the students to speak at the two shows they did in Vienna.

In February 2010 Anti-Flag came back to touring kicking it off with the Australian SoundWave festival tour with bands including Paramore, Escape the Fate, A Day to Remember, HIM and more.


Anti-Flag have been involved with activism throughout their musical career. This has included starting the activism groups The Underground Action Alliance[2], Military Free Zone[3] (A group to protest a clause in the No Child Left Behind Act, which gave military recruiters automatic access to student's personal details) and The Bright Lights[4]

They have been involved in performing at multiple protests, these included two in support of Rage Against The Machine.

The most recent protest they performed at was outside the Republican National Convention in 2008 [5],they were supposed to be the last band to play but they had been touring with Rage Against The Machine and had decided it would be a good idea to get them involved since they had a long history of getting involved in related events. When officials found out they were going to perform, they shut down the stages power and the band performed two songs using megaphones.

They also regularly support political organisations which include:

Democracy Now! The latest headlines from which can be found on the band's homepage.[6]
Peta Whom are one of the sponsors of their 2010 'The Economy Sucks Let's Party' tour.
Amnesty International Whom the band donated money from the sale of The People And The Gun to and who are one of the sponsors of their 2010 the Economy Sucks Lets Party Tour.
Greenpeace Whom the band worked in conjunction with in order to persuade world leaders to attend the climate conference in Copenhagen and whom are one of the sponsors of their The Economy Sucks Lets Party Tour.


The Gun Star is the symbol for the band Anti-Flag, designed by Anti-Flag guitarist Chris Head. It was first used on the cover of the album Mobilize. It was later used on merchandise. It is made up of a number of broken M-16 rifles in the form of a star shape. It is not infrequent for fans of Anti-Flag to get a Gun Star tattoo. Also, they used the O & X superposed symbols on Die for the Government LP frequently.


Anti-Flag's decision to sign to RCA is a major source of criticism among critics and fans alike, since RCA is owned by Sony BMG. Many fans find this decision hypocritical due to Anti-Flag's previously overt anti-capitalist lyrics.

In an interview with British newspaper The Guardian, Justin Sane explained the band's move to a major label:

We've been approached by the major labels over the past seven or eight years but we thought we were having an impact where we were. They were never willing to give us complete control. This time they were willing to give us complete control over what we record, the artwork, who we tour with. We won't be censored. If there was ever a time to take a chance to be heard on a mass scale then this is the time. I feel like we've been a voice in the wilderness for too long.[8]

Since then the band has left RCA, and released their 2009 album The People or the Gun on independent label SideOneDummy.

Band members

  • Justin Sane – lead vocals, rhythm & lead guitars (1988, 1993–present)
  • Chris #2 – lead vocals, bass guitar (1999–present)
  • Chris Head – lead & rhythm guitars, backing vocals (1997–present), bass guitar (1997)
  • Pat Thetic – drums, percussion (1988, 1993–present)

Former members

  • Andy Flag - bass guitar, backing vocals, occasional lead vocals (1993–1996)
  • Jamie Cock - bass guitar (1997–1999)
  • Sean Whelan - bass guitar (1996)
  • Lucy Fester - bass guitar



External links

Simple English

Origin Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Genres Punk rock, hardcore punk, street punk
Years active 1988 – 1989, 1993 – Present
Labels New Red Archives, Go Kart, A-F, Fat Wreck Chords, RCA
Associated acts NOFX, The Bad Genes, Bouncing Souls, The Unseen, Rage Against The Machine
Justin Sane
Chris #2
Chris Head
Pat Thetic
Former members
Andy Flag
Lucy Fester
Sean Whelan
Jamie Cock

Anti-Flag is a punk rock band from Pittsburgh. They were formed in 1988.



Studio Albums

  • Die for the Government (1996) New Red Archives
  • Their System Doesn't Work for You (1998) A-F Records
  • A New Kind of Army (1999) Go-Kart Records/A-F Records
  • Underground Network (2001) Fat Wreck Chords
  • Mobilize (2002) A-F Records
  • The Terror State (2003) Fat Wreck Chords #91 US
  • For Blood and Empire (2006) RCA Records #100 US
  • The Bright Lights of America (2008) RCA Records #118 US

7" Records

  • Kill Kill Kill 7" (1995) Self-Served/Ripe Records
  • Emigre single 7" (2006) RCA Records
  • The Bright Lights Of America (single) 7" (2008) RCA Records

Split EPs & Full Lengths

  • Rock'n with Father Mike 7" w/the Bad Genes (1993) Ripe Records
  • Reject 7" w/Against All Authority (1996) Records Of Rebellion/A-F Records
  • God Squad/Anti-Flag split 7" (1996)
  • North America Sucks full length w/ d.b.s. (1996) Nefer Records
  • I'd Rather Be In Japan 7" w/Obnoxious (1997) NAT Records
  • The Dread/Anti-Flag split full length (1998) SixWeeks Records/Clearview Records
  • BYO Split Series, Vol. 4 full length w/the Bouncing Souls (2002) BYO Records

Other releases

  • Live at the Fireside Bowl (2000) Liberation Records
  • A Benefit for Victims of Violent Crime (EP) (2007) A-F Records
Compilations on which Anti-Flag appears
  • Fat Music, Volume 5: Live Fat, Die Young
  • Dropping Food on Their Heads Is Not Enough: Benefit for RAWA (2002) Geykido Comet Records
  • Against Police Injustice (2003) Non Commercial.
  • PROTECT: A Benefit for the National Association to Protect Children (2005) Fat Wreck Chords
  • Rock Against Bush, Vol. 1 (2004) Fat Wreck Chords
  • World Warped III Live (2000) Side One Dummy
  • Warped Tour 2001 Tour Compilation (2001) Side One Dummy Records
  • Warped Tour 2004 Tour Compilation (2004) Side One Dummy Records
  • Warped Tour 2006 Tour Compilation (2006) Side One Dummy Records
  • Punk Goes Acoustic 2 (2007) Fearless Records

Side projects

  • Justin Sane – Solo
    • 3 Track Demo Tape (2001)
    • These Are the Days EP (2002)
    • Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Justice (2002)
  • Chris #2 – Whatever It Takes
    • A Fistful of Revolution full length CD
    • Stars & Skulls EP
    • The Cold of Winter
    • The 40 Second Cure (an EP of 40 second songs, and two Cure covers)
    • A Fistful of Revolution/Stars & Skulls
    • The Code/Whatever It Takes split 10"
    • The Code/Whatever It Takes split CD
  • Andy Wright (Flag)
    • Teddy Duchamp's Army
    • Human Investment

Other websites

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address