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30 Band Shirts That Will Get You Flagged By The TSA If You Wear Them to the Airport

It’s natural to want to express your love for your favorite band, and you want to be comfy when traveling, so a well-worn, beloved band tee shirt might be an obvious choice of attire for air travel. However, TSA officers aren’t only looking out for guns and box cutters. They also keep an eye out for slogans and imagery on apparel which could be deemed offensive or threatening in order to flag potential problem passengers. Here are some band shirts you may want to avoid wearing unless being interrogated for hours in a secret back room at the airport is your kink. (If you want a shirt that probably won’t get you flagged at the airport you should check out our merch store.)

Explosions In The Sky

TSA officers would be correct in thinking other passengers might not want to see that particular arrangement of words on a shirt while they’re 30,000 feet in the air. They’ll probably ask you to turn your shirt inside out like it’s 1995 and you wore a Beavis and Butthead tee to school.

Cop Shoot Cop

If you’re going to survive in this increasingly authoritarian world, it’s best if you can learn to blend in a little and avoid attention in public. Choose your battles: maybe go with an innocuous Dave Matthews Band shirt for the trip.

The Gun Club

Wearing a shirt with the word “gun” on it to the airport isn’t a great idea. Officers who belong to actual gun clubs won’t know what to make of your shirt, but they’ll rightfully assume it doesn’t refer to a place to shoot AR-15s and talk about Joe Rogan.

Three Doors Down

If you get spotted wearing this shirt by a divorced, middle-aged, beer-swilling TSA officer, you may get flagged as a “cool guy who likes good music”, getting you an invite to a private Telegram group where they discuss the band and also goon-out to insurrection fantasies.

Insane Clown Posse

ICP are officially categorized as a criminal street gang by the FBI, so you’ll definitely be flagged if you walk around in hatchet man apparel. If you cause a scene (as Juggalos are wont to do) be sure to let out a few loud “whoop whoops” while you’re being hogtied to add some excitement to TikTok videos of your arrest.

Burning Airlines

You can try explaining that Burning Airlines was one of J. Robbins’ bands, but unfortunately the security officer swabbing your hands for explosive residue has never even heard of Jawbox—unbelievable, right?


Obviously “terror” isn’t a word you want to bandy about in an airport. To longtime fans such as yourself, the word evokes the legendary LA beatdown band. But to a TSA officer, “terror” in any context is a big red flag and you may wind up being subjected to a beatdown of a different kind.

Body Count

Most of us can appreciate “Cop Killer” for being ahead of its time with its ACAB message. Of course, you’re in for a bad time if you attempt to board a plane wearing that shirt. The only thing that might save you is if you plead ignorance and claim you’re just a big fan of Ice T’s work on “Law & Order: SVU.”

Bomb the Music Industry!

You’re just asking for it, aren’t you? A good rule of thumb is to avoid talking about or otherwise referencing bombing anything at the airport. If you wind up getting arrested, it couldn’t hurt to ask Jeff Rosenstock to organize a fundraiser to help with your legal fees.


Iranian death metal band Arsames risks imprisonment and death simply by existing. Wearing an Arsames shirt in Iran or the US is bound to get you noticed by the authorities—because if there’s anything the two countries’ governments can agree upon, it’s their mutual disdain for Satan-worshiping and heavy metal.

Cannibal Corpse

This shirt will get you flagged—not necessarily for the vile artwork, but because the word “cannibal” suggests you’d be among the first to start hungrily eyeballing other survivors in the event of a crash in the remote wilderness.

Millions of Dead Cops

TSA officers aren’t law enforcement; most are just working-class people trying to get by. However, a portion of them are bitter wannabes who failed out of the police academy and are eager to exercise their modicum of power in order to make your life hell.

Neutral Milk Hotel

You just wanted to rep your indie cred with an NMH shirt. However, the figure giving a vaguely Nazi-esque salute might cause some concern to a TSA officer. Prepare to be grilled with questions like, “What’s going to happen to the aeroplane over the sea? What do you know?”

Rage Against the Machine

TSA officers aren’t concerned that someone wearing a RATM shirt is going to start shit on ideological grounds—but they do know there’s a decent chance someone wearing one is a contrarian normie who’s likely to get drunk and shout “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!” when the flight attendant asks them to stop vaping in the bathroom.


The band Isis chose their name years before the Islamic State adopted the moniker of ISIS. Good luck describing the impact that Isis the band had on the post-metal landscape to a grumpy TSA officer who did two tours in Afghanistan.

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