Maroon 5 removes Japanese Rising Sun flag from world tour promo following South Korea backlash

  • Maroon 5 has removed the Japanese Rising Sun flag design from the promotional poster for their 2022 world tour following backlash against the controversial symbol.
  • The band announced their upcoming tour schedule, including a stop in Seoul, on July 3.
  • Maroon 5 member Jesse Carmichael was previously embroiled in a similar controversy involving the flag in 2019.

Maroon 5 has changed the promotional poster for their 2022 world tour after receiving backlash for the original design consisting of the Japanese Rising Sun flag, which is symbolic of the nation’s wartime atrocities.  

The group released their tour schedule on their official website on July 3, announcing their first stop as Quebec City before moving on to Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka, Manila and Bangkok. 

The band’s upcoming concert in Seoul, which is scheduled for Nov. 30, will be their first in over three years; however, many in South Korea were outraged by the use of the flag design in the promo previously displayed on the website. 

The Rising Sun flag was representative of the Japanese Imperial Army during its colonial rule of the Korean peninsula and other neighboring territories from the early 1900s until the end of World War II. The flag is still deemed to be offensive by many within these countries. 

The poster initially featured a black-and-white version of the flag, which usually depicts a sun and its rays in red. The new poster has replaced the design with an image of the band. 

Maroon 5 member Jesse Carmichael was previously embroiled in a similar controversy. In 2019, Carmichael sided with Sean Lennon, the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, after he posted a controversial social media post defending the use of the flag on a T-shirt, prompting backlash against them both.

 

Feature image via Maroon 5

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