Most Memorable Merica and MAGA T-Shirts Seen at Indianapolis 500


american-flag-star spangled banner

As has been well documented, especially so on this site, the patriotism gets ramped up to jingoism and then some at the Indianapolis 500 every year. Actually take that jingoism and square it, no wait- take it to the tenth power.  On one hand, we get it- this site’s colors are red, white and blue for a reason.

It is the nation’s biggest Memorial Day weekend gathering, as it draws over 300,000 people each year. On the other hand, come on- spare us the native advertising for the armed services; sponsored by Chevrolet. People showed up for an auto race, not a recruiting pitch, and certainly not for more Chevy ads.

The pre-race program included (but not limited to):

God Bless the USA, God Bless America, America the Beautiful, Stars and Stripes Forever, Battle Hymn of the Republic (while a Confederate Flag flew around turn 2) and the Star Spangled Banner.

It concludes with what is actually my favorite part of the race, the state of Indiana’s official song, “Back Home Again Indiana,” now performed by Jim Cornelison. There were some iffy years in there between the passing of the legendary Jim Nabors and the assumption of Cornelison to the position.

To fit in with this atmosphere, a lot (if not most) of the people attending the race dress in America gear (actually it’s more MERICA or MURRICA).

So here is the list of the more memorable t-shirts that we saw the Indy 500. I know what you’re saying “pics or it didn’t happen,” and I totally agree with you but 1.) not interested in stopping total strangers and asking them to post for a picture, especially ironically and 2.) I saw these when I was walking somewhere, and kind of occupied.

Don’t worry though, we have a ton of photos here, and if you need more, you can always go to @Indy500 pics.

Build that —-ing Wall  (With an American Flag in place of where —- is)

The guy wearing this shirt was probably distraught that a Frenchman beat an American in the end to win the race. He might have thought to himself: “hey, if only we built that wall, this French guy would have never gotten into this country.

God. Guns. Good Country Music. 

BBQ. Beer. Freedom

Jesus. America. Beer. 

Three pithy t-shirts that were right to the point.

It was not earned to be burned (American Flag) 

I’ve never been a flag burner, and doubt I ever will be, but the idea that Americans wouldn’t legally be allowed to freely burn Old Glory in protest is helluva lot worse than any flag going up in flames.

trump bus

(I seriously thought the van above was the MAGA bomber’s vehicle at first)

America: Undefeated in War

what about Vietnam? Why are we still in Afghanistan? How did Iraq go?

America: World War Champions

Don’t quite know where to begin in vivisecting that one.

Landslide 1984 (With a picture of the Presidential Electoral College map where Ronald Reagan beat Walter Mondale 49 states to 1) 

For some reason, Reagan/Bush ’84 is the most popular campaign tee that you’ll see at the Indy 500.

(for the Illinoisans reading this, don’t condescend to Indiana too much- see we have MAGA bigots in our state too).

I want pizza, not your opinion

Not political, or patriotism themed, but interesting nonetheless.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

Banks, a former writer for NBC and Chicago, also contributes to Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.


  1. […] -the far-right wing and MAGA propaganda that you'll see on the t-shirts worn by race fans. […]

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