Maroon 5 accused of using Rising Sun flag in world tour poster

Brown 5 (Universal Music Group)

Rock band Maroon 5 have been embroiled in controversy for using a disputed Japanese flag design of the rising sun in their world tour poster.

The group recently announced on its official website that it will begin its tour in Quebec on Saturday and will travel to Asia to perform in Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka, Manila and Bangkok. The concert of the five musicians in Seoul is scheduled for November 30 at the Gocheok Sky Dome.

As the upcoming visit to Korea marks a comeback for Maroon 5 after nearly four years, after their last concert in February 2019, many local fans are enraged by the band’s poster which features a design based on Japan’s rising sun. , although the sun and its rays are black and white.

The Rising Sun Flag, once used by the Imperial Japanese Army, has a strong negative connotation in Korea. Since the poster was released, many Koreans have flocked to online communities to discuss the boycott of the band’s upcoming concert in Seoul.

This isn’t the first time Maroon 5 has faced backlash over this sensitive issue. In 2012, the band used the controversial footage from the “One More Night” music video.

A screenshot shows that the poster for Maroon 5's upcoming world tour on its official website includes a design resembling the Japanese rising sun flag.  (maroon5.com)

A screenshot shows that the poster for Maroon 5’s upcoming world tour on its official website includes a design resembling the Japanese rising sun flag. (maroon5.com)

In 2019, keyboardist Jesse Carmichael engaged in an online tit-for-tat defending the use of the flag. He wrote on social media to support New York-based singer-songwriter Sean Lennon, the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who posted a photo online of his girlfriend wearing a t-shirt with the Rising Sun flag pattern.

His actions drew heavy criticism from Korean fans and many turned their backs on the Maroon 5 member.

The popular American rock band has composed many hit songs, such as “This Love”, “Sunday Morning”, “Payphone” and “Moves Like Jagger”, which have made the act a household name.

The 2012 song “One More Night” is more widely known locally as it peaked on Billboard’s Hot 100 at No. 1, having topped Psy’s worldwide hit “Gangnam Style” the same year.

By Jie Ye-eun ([email protected])

About Walter J. Leslie

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