Flatcaps legacy is interwoven with a recent, rich story including:
Chicago Gangsters of the 40’s
“Newsboys” screaming “Extra, Extra” on the street corners
Classic Films like John Wayne in the “Quiet Man”
A World-wide Celtic Connection with the homeland
Comic Book Heroes like Andy Capp and The Goon.
FlatCaps’ deeper legacy is built on centuries of tradition and folk-lore. Flat Caps, as we know them, can be traced back to 14th century Britain and Ireland and may have emerged from the French ‘bonnet’. Fun Fact: A 1571 Act of Parliament to stimulate domestic wool consumption and general trade decreed that on Sundays and holidays that all males over 6 years of age had to wear hats (most commonly flat caps). The Bill was later repealed in 1597, though by this time, the flat cap had become firmly entrenched in English psyche as a recognized mark of a non-noble subject. Though the law was abolished in 1597, men continued to wear the caps. They were functional, after all, as they provided shade and a finished element to men’s dress. As European immigrants began settling in the United States, the flat cap became an American fashion, as well. Flat caps were almost universally worn in the 19th century by working class men throughout Britain and Ireland, and versions in finer cloth were also considered to be suitable casual countryside wear for upper-class English men. Flat caps are primarily associated with British citizens. In modern times, Charles, Prince of Wales is often seen wearing a flat cap in affluent country areas. In contrast, London’s working class is also often depicted as wearing flat caps.