Anti-Flag was originally formed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1988. The band name originates from the experiences that the founders had in their hometown. When the two would go to local shows, they often saw patrons of the shows chanting slogans for "freedom not fascism" while waving the American Flag and sporting the flags with "x"s over them on their jackets. However, these same patrons would constantly participate in violence against those who did not completely agree with their point of view. Justin and Pat saw the brandishing of the American Flag and using it as a tool against others as a form of fascism.