When Polo Ralph Lauren Re-issued Its Iconic Cross Flags

Over 30 years after its original release, Polo Ralph Lauren has dipped into the archives this Spring/Summer to revive its iconic 1987 Cross Flags Collection in a limited-edition drop available now at Coggles.

Back in 1987, Mr Ralph Lauren was celebrating 20 successful years of his eponymous brand. To do so, Polo Ralph Lauren released an exclusive, multi-coloured collection characteristic by its now iconic crossed flag logo. In the years to follow, the Polo Ralph Lauren brand garnered a cult following among gang members and hip-hop stars around the US, who came to be known as Lo Heads. What spawned this obsession with Polo? According to notorious LA-based Lo Head Daniel “Skorn” Leaf, author of All For the Love of Lo, it is the 1987 Cross Flags collection:

See, it was just those graphics and those colors … he was the only one pumping out… all this. Who else was making that type of stuff in 1988? Every other clothes was normal and plain. This is when it really came big: 1987 was twenty years of Ralph Lauren. He came out with the Ralph Lauren flag knit –we call it The Cross Flags, the Dub Flags, it says the date, 1967, Polo, and then 1987. So, guys started to get into it in maybe ’86, and then in ’87 he made the flags. That’s what made all these dudes go, “Oh man, this is fresh!”

For Spring/Summer 2018, Polo Ralph Lauren reissues the Cross Flags collection across a new range of T-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, and—of course—a signature polo. The limited-edition collection is made up of classic Ralph Lauren silhouettes and feature signature Polo hallmarks including striped and multi-coloured designs. To discover how the collection and the Polo brand more broadly had a seismic influence on hip-hop in the 1980s and ’90s, be sure to check out the documentary below.

Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert