I've been mulling this over for a few days now and I've got to the conclusion that a lot of this division about Flag Code, particularly whether or not a flag on a t-shirt really is a flag or not, is the two sides talking past each other.
Reading the Flag Code, it is unequivocal that flags are not the be worn as apparel, and can only appear on clothing in the limited circumstances of lapel pins worn above the heart and patches sewn on patriotic uniforms. There is no other circumstance where a Flag can be worn that is not a violation of the Code, that much is clear.
What is not so clear, and what I have perhaps wrongly been taking for granted, is that a violation of the Flag Code is necessarily disrespectful. A violation of Flag Code is just that, a violation of a voluntary law. It is not a crime, you cannot be jailed or fined for violating Flag Code. I think that respect perhaps has more to do with the person's intention than the letter of the law. For someone like myself, who is aware of and understand the restrictions contained in the Flag Code, wearing a flag is necessarily a disrespectful action, and something I would never do. On the other hand, for someone unaware of the nature of the Flag Code, or someone who has read it and (bona fide) misunderstood it, then the action of wearing the flag might still very well carry with it the intention of respect for the flag and the country it represents.
Of course, this does not change the rules put forth by the Flag Code, but perhaps I have been too overbearing in my tone in this discussion. I want to help my brother and sister Americans to understand the true nature of their actions, to win them over to the proper interpretation of the Flag Code. I don't want to deepen the divide and harden you to position by preaching at you. So I will say this much, that when you wear the on a t-shirt, with respect in your heart and an honest misunderstanding of the rules, it is only a technical desecration. I can't really say that you are desecrating the Flag in spirit
Thanks jallman, I appreciate the spirited debate with Redbeard, Hellhound and yourself.