Barred For Life: A Review on CVLT Nation

Barred for Life: How Black Flag’s Iconic Logo became Punk Rock’s Secret Handshake

by Meghan MacRae
CVLT Nation
May 23rd, 2013

It’s hard to exaggerate the importance of Black Flag to underground music. They pioneered a touring style that is standard for bands today, plus they basically invented hardcore, or at least set the standard for it. Their four bar logo has achieved almost Che-like status in pop culture iconography, but it manages to remain cool and underground at the same time – as Ebersole puts it: “look closely at those four rectangles and you will see a cute little waving black flag representing “ANARCHY;” the stateless state; a DIY politic. No Gods and No Masters, as they say!” I can’t tell you how many people I know or have met who have inked that logo somewhere on their body. With Barred For Life, Stewart Dean Ebersole has put together a photo documentary of how Black Flag has touched people’s lives – literally in the form of tattoos. Interspersed with photos of people he and photographer Jared Castaldi captured along their six years of travel in North America and abroad, Ebersole tells the story of being a punker of the 80s in America, and how Black Flag figured in punk rock lore of the time. The result is rad to look at and a captivating read, and also includes in-depth interviews with Dez and Chuck. I would wager at least half of you reading this have a Black Flag tattoo on you somewhere, and you know you’re not alone! Check out some of the rad portraits below, and head over to the Barred For Life facebook page here and get your own copy here!

Barred for Life! <br />A Chronicle of the Black Flag Tattoo

Back to Stewart Dean Ebersole’s Author Page | Back to Jared Castaldi’s Artist Page