Just about everyone has a memory of Old Navy's Fourth of July tees
What are you and your family wearing this July 4th?
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Anyone who was around in the ’90s knows that the Old Navy American flag tees that hit shelves each summer are about as American as baseball and apple pie. If you were a parent back then, you probably remember hitting up the local Old Navy for a $5 Americana tee, complete with the year on it. If you were a kid, you probably remember getting ready to go see the fireworks with the family in your brand-new flag tee.
Old Navy as a brand dates back to 1994 and like most clothing companies these days, it has endured a number of changes over the years. From different celebrity spokespeople — most notably classic TV star Morgan Fairchild — to being purchased and sold again, one constant over the last quarter century (other than the affordability) is the American flag tee.
An article from Fashionista quotes Old Navy graphic designer Chris Jordan, saying that they didn’t originally plan to make the flag tee an annual staple the first year they launched it. But after a few Julys of sale spikes, "We realized we were onto something special that could become a signature product."
Not only were people seemingly collecting the tees each year, but families were buying them for that perfect Fourth of July photo op. Think back to your family gatherings in the summers of the 1990s and early 2000s. How many people were wearing these tees? Do you have a family photo in them?
"We think of ourselves as a quintessential American brand, so it is incredibly gratifying to be associated with the most American holiday," said Jordan to Fashionista. "It’s both a piece of our heritage and theirs. We’re honored to create something that is not just a piece of clothing, but also brings people together year after year."
It didn’t take too long for Old Navy to become the place to shop during the summer months. In addition to the classic tees, the brand has become notorious for their $1 flip flop sale and their Independence Day sale.
In the last 25 years, these shirts have evolved past a boxy white tee emblazoned with the flag. They come in men’s, women’s, children’s, baby’s and maternity cuts, as well as tank tops. The designs have updated and most years, there are multiple designs to choose from. For their anniversary this year, they even launched a limited edition design (1,994, to be exact) printed on a purple shirt, to symbolize the color that’s created when red, white and blue come together. Don’t worry, though, even if the purple ones are sold out at your store, there are still plenty of other designs to choose from.