Instructables
Picture of Lady Gaga American Flag Costume
I LOVE all the costumes in Lady Gaga's Telephone music video!  The American flag outfit at the end, however is my favorite!  

I have seen a lot of knock-off costumes for sale online but none of them do the outfit justice.  Follow these instructions to have an authentic looking Lady Gaga American flag costume!

Special thanks to Culturespy and frenzy, and scoochmaroo!
 
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Step 1: Inspiration

Picture of Inspiration
normal_00437.jpg
Lady Gaga and Beyonce are fierce in there American flag outfits in the Telephone music video.

Step 2: Materials

Picture of Materials
Fabric:
2 yds of muslin
1/2 yd red satin
1/2 yd blue satin
1/2 yd white satin
1/4 yd white lycra
1/4 yd iron on adhesive 

Pattern Materials:
Measuring Tape
Pattern Paper
Pencil
Hip Curve Ruler 

Sewing Materials:
All basic materials including thread, sewing machine, pins, scissors, chalk, etc...

adamazing3 years ago
Firstly, this is not a troll and I don't want to offend anyone, or inflame what is obviously a very contentious issue.


That being said, I personally don't agree with anyone who wants to ban everyone from doing something just because it offends them personally. As such, I consider those parts of the Flag code that attempt to prohibit desecration or wearing of the flag, as patently ridiculous. The 2nd amendment is awesome. Every country should have codified in law the right to freedom of speech. How can a country, begun with such lofty ideals and with freedom at its core, dictate that a flag may not be hung upside-down, or burned, or made into a suit. It boggles the mind. No one has the right to not be offended.


Of course, it's slightly disingenuous to say that wearing the flag, or a garment made from it is "illegal" when the law is unenforced and unenforceable. While technically true, when was the last time that it was enforced against a private citizen? In recent memory, Air Force General Richard Myers, once Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wore a shirt similar to the one Abbie Hoffman was wearing, on Memorial Day, in Washington DC.


And of course, if you want to wear the Gaga costume and are arrested, just tell them it's the flag of Liberia but that you added more stars to "jazz it up". ;)
I do not agree with you and never will. It's our flag and a symbol of our country, it deserves respect. You can clothing made to look like the flag without an actual flag and mangling it. Should I be glad that you care so little about your country that burning it's flag is okay?

I can assume that if the Taliban or any other foreign rebel group or terrorists should burn the US flag and feel it necessary to video it and send it to us, that that is okay, right? And it's also okay, by you, to graffiti the white house with spraypaint as freedom of speech, right?

The failure of government or the people to enforce a law or code does not mean that it should not be enforced.
I agree with you that the second amendment is awesome. It states that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. However, it is the FIRST amendment that includes the right of free speech as well as freedom OF (not from) religion, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly. That said, it's okay by you for someone to desecrate the flag. Does that freedom of speech extend also to my use of certain words to describe ethnicity? I'd bet not. This is the result of public school indoctrination. It's good to "stick it to the man" but the "man" is not allowed to return the favor. One day you will understand.
In an ideal world, freedom of speech would extend only up to the point where it causes harm. There are real-world examples where speech can cause actual harm. A famous example usually given in these discussions is yelling "FIRE" in a crowded theatre. I think personally that whether or not racial slurs should be "allowed" largely depends on that sort of a test, i.e. whether there was intent to cause harm.

The subject of racial slurs is a contentious issue, which is, I suppose, why you brought it up. Bravo. In an ideal world, you could use whatever language you liked. However, in an ideal world, they would have been no such thing as slavery, no Jim Crow laws and no need for the civil rights movement.


Personally, I think that you should be allowed to use such language provided there is no intent to incite violence or cause actual harm, however there's a very good argument for any increased sensitivity in applying Freedom of Speech in the case of racial slurs. I.e. Because up until about 40-50 years ago, people were still being lynched in the U.S. because of the colour of their skin and the socio-economic after-effects of slavery & of Jim Crow laws are still being felt today.

For another example, do I hate Westboro Baptist Church and everything they stand for? Yes. Do I hate their inflammatory, ugly, hate speech? Yes. Do I respect their right to say the things they do? Yes.

"One day you will understand" Wow...how very condescending of you. Not sure that fits in with the "be nice" policy. I don't know what you mean by "public school indoctrination". I wasn't even taught by the American public school system, let alone indoctrinated by it. (Thank Thor. :)

The fact of the matter is that, for better or worse, the U.S. is a major super-power. It has the ability to start unjust wars and topple governments in 3rd world countries at will. It even has the potential to destroy the entire planet with nuclear weapons, if it so chose. The idea of it being so insecure that it needs to protect its flags from "desecration" is the most pathetic thing I have ever heard.

If a student burns a flag in protest at U.S. foreign policy, do Obama and Clinton cry themselves to sleep? I sincerely hope not. It has caused no harm other than to someone's sensibilities. If that student is so much as arrested for burning that flag then they have been caused infinitely more harm than they caused. For that reason, yes. A thousand times yes, they should be able to "stick it to the man" and be protected from "the man".

FYI, while I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this with you, nowhere in my original comment did I express any real desire to "Stick it to The Man" , I just wanted to A) point out how ridiculous the Flag Code is in any country that purports to be Free and B) point out that like most ridiculous laws, the Flag Code is unenforced/unenforceable.
Istarian3 years ago
It's not okay to desecrate, burn, wear, etc the flag because it symbolizes America. Burning would be like threatening to light America on fire. Just because nobody cares doesn't mean that burning it is okay. If you think the flag is not that important seek to have the laws changed.
Its protected Free Speech, interesting how those Americans now whats really important, Freedom or simple icons of freedom.
static3 years ago
The instructable was well done. Anyone wanting to duplicate it shouldn't have no problem doing so by following your instructions.

Unfortunately costume can be an issue for many, but not so much for use who have been taking note of what has been going on in the real world for years. At worst this is a facsimile of of elements in the USA flag, that are not assembled in a manner to depict the flag in entirety. I believe for some the original lady gaga costume was problem, was an issue because it was lady gaga, and that her costume may or may not have been made from an actual flag. I'm unable to find reliable information as to how the original was constructed. Country/western artists are often seen with borderline violations of the US flag code, but no issue is ever or rarely taken.In the event the current code was enforced literally, it would soon be revised, because the code as it is prohibits activities that many take for granted.


jbohannon3 years ago
I remember when I was 18 and working with a 30 year retired master sergeant from the air force and while sitting in my car one day the Jimmy Hendricks version of the National Anthem came on and I thought he was going to explode. At the time I didn't understand the problem although 40 years later I know more about what he was feeling. As a scout leader I was horrified to notice a flag lying on the ground outside of a scouts tent. On further investigation I discovered it was a swimming towel. When I proceded to have a chat with him about respect for the flag he told me he felt the same way but his mother bought the towel for him and he didn"t want to dissapoint her by not using it. I think if the intentions are good it OK. If someone is trying to denigrate the country then I have a problem with that.
Thank you for NOT making this out of an actual cut up American flag.
what would be wrong with that?
Well, for starters, it's illegal.
sure. it is legal to burn it, but not make a bathing suit out of it. how old are you?
We're talking about something extremely sensitive here. The US flag, or any flag for that matter, is a symbol that people feel so passionate about, that it's considered extremely disrespectful to fold a flag wrong, or even to throw away a tattered one.
Perhaps you may not understand the value of the banner of my country, but that's exactly why it's just better left un-touched. You may not understand, but I do. Take a look at the case of Abbie Hoffman. Feel how you feel about politics, he got in trouble for wearing a shirt made out of an American flag, not for wearing a shirt with the American flag on it.
It has been ruled that you can do whatever you want to our flag, legally. But that doesn't mean that it's any less of an important, treasured symbol. All I ask is that it not be desecrated. I'm not trying to start something here, and I ask that others try not to as well. I'm simply explaining why I feel that the subject at hand is sensitive.
Where has it been ruled that you can do whatever you want with the flag, legally?
The supreme court to some extent.

Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989) and
United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990)
I agree, to some extent. I took issue with "anything".
True. Your right. It is has only been ruled limited to burning that I know of.
People have no clue what a flag means, or why it is important. No amount of explaining will teach them. It's illegal for a reason, and they'd never believe it.

So yes, thank you for not making this out of an actual flag.

Abbie Hoffman was arrested for making a shirt from a flag, but probably more so that he wanted to get arrested for it, publicity stunt for his neo-whatever movement.
What scares me is that despite this instructable not using a real flag, it looks as though the original one worn by Lady Gaga was made from an actual flag. Perhaps not, but it's still unsettling.
It is explicitly illegal to use the flag as clothing or to use parts of the flag as clothing as stated in Title 4 Chapter 1 of the United States Code. Title 18 Chapter 33 Section 700 lays out criminal penalties as well. I'm 39, how does that matter?
True enough. I suppose my point is that in multiple cases, the burning of a flag has been ruled a legal form of free speech. So it doesn't matter what the flag code says. So, yes, I believe that I could make a bathing suit out of an American flag and I would not be fined or imprisoned. It doesn't matter what the flag code says.

I don't know why I would ever do that though. It would have to be for a very good reason... So it is good that the poster did not do that, a Lady Gaga costume wouldn't be very good reason to desecrate a flag.
Burning has. Violations of other portions of the code have yet to be challenged up to the Supreme Court. Just because one portion of the code is ruled invalid, doesn't mean all sections are. If that were the case, then the entire body of the U.S. code would be invalid. So, it does matter what the flag code says, until it is challanged in court. But I do agree that the likelihood of a challenge being brought or even heard by the court is small because of the burning challenges. So it pretty much stands as a body of code that is on the books, but no one pays attention to.
Your right. I definitely did not completely understand the extent of what is technically legal and not until now. And I agree the likelihood of it going through court is slim.
LIKE
Lt.Greg3 years ago
While I like (!) the costume, I have a tiny problem with the use of the American flag. It isn't a BAD thing, but at the same time, it isn't exactly proper to use the flag or its image as clothing, or anything other than as a symbol of our nation. Sorry - I don't mean to be an old poop, but I think that many people under a certain age just never learned this. It doesn't make you bad, but (I think, anyway) it just isn't exactly respectful. I hope this is taken in the right way - I'm really not trying to be mean. Other than that, your costumes show great imagination, (among other things! LOL)
Rich8n Lt.Greg3 years ago
It is a bad thing, it's a violation of the US Flag Code. http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/flagcode.htm
Lt.Greg Rich8n3 years ago
Rich8n, Not to quibble sir, but the Code (for which you have included the URL, and with which I suggest everyone become familiar) reads 'The Flag": shall or shall not ..." As PalmerPirate mentioned, the costume is not constructed from an actual flag, but from material in the flag's image. Personally I agree with your sentiment, and I would NEVER use this material in the manner done. I believe it is indeed inappropriate. I was in fact, trying to be subtle, in order to make a point without preaching. But your point (disrespect for the flag) is well-made, and I wish more young people were aware of the Code, and it's meaning.
Thank you for posting the reference.
GM
Rich8n Lt.Greg3 years ago
By the way, read down in the flag code, making a costume out of parts of the flag is there too.
Rich8n Lt.Greg3 years ago
My pleasure. I learned a great deal about the flag as a teenager in the 80's because I was very active in 4-H, but not in the way most people think about 4-H. I never did any agriculture-related activities. My main projects were Citizenship, Leadership and Public Speaking. One of the speaking projects I gave several hundred times was about the history, laws and rules related to the flag. It's amused me to see people completely violate the flag code and then call me stupid when I point it out, because they make assumptions about their "rights" to do whatever they want in the name of art, fashion or protest that are not based upon fact.
edenza3 years ago
Did you make the boots too?
eusar3 years ago
i adore this instrucable, i love it for beeing lady gaga, love it for the respect of the flag... love all the instructables already made.. but am i realy a nag for saying this could/should be a wonder woman outfit?? HAHAHAHAHAHA LOVE IT!!!!!
i was thinking the same thing, just change the wig to a brunette
This is great! I love all your Gaga Instructables!
happyjo3 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
randofo happyjo3 years ago
Scoochmaroo? Carleyy made this!