Although Anti-Flag in its current lineup is known for being formed in Pittsburgh in 1993, the band was actually started up by Justin Sane and Pat Thetic in 1988. That incarnation fell apart after one show, and the band was shelved until 1993, when the current version of Anti-Flag began to take shape with the recruitment of (now ex-) bassist Andy Flag.
Justin Sane - Lead vocals, Lead guitar (1988-present)
Chris #2 - Bass, Lead vocals (1998-present)
Chris Head - Rhythm Guitar, Backing vocals (1997-present)
Pat Thetic - Drums (1988-present)
A Controversial Name:
The band's name often attracts criticism by those who believe it reflects an anti-American stance. The band offered an explanation of their name on the artwork for their 1999 release, A New Kind of Army, saying "Anti-Flag does not mean Anti-American. Anti-Flag means anti-war. Anti-Flag means the common people of the world are better off living in unity and peace. Anti-Flag means to stand against corporate greed that hurts millions while benefiting a handful of extremely rich. Anti-Flag means to fight against mindless nationalism. Anti-Flag means unity."
Anti-Flag has always been fiercely and vocally political, taking a stance against war and capitalism, and addressing such issues as fascism in the punk scene, American foreign policy and racism.
This anti-capitalist stance drew criticism towards the band when they signed with RCA Records. Detractors said that this constituted a "sell-out" and that the band would lose its passion and voice. Anti-Flag defended against these attacks by saying that the new label allowed them to bring their message to more people, and by simply not toning down any of their messages on their first major label release, For Blood And Empire.
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
For Blood And Empire (2006) RCA Records
The Bright Lights of America (2008) RCA Records