Maroon 5, a famous U.S. pop band that is set to perform in Korea in November, posted an image of the Rising Sun Flag on its website, sparking controversy.
Maroon 5 recently unveiled its 2022 world tour schedule on its official website. Maroon 5’s concert in Korea will be held at Gocheok Sky Dome on November 30th. As the concert this time in Korea is the first in about three years and nine months after 2019, it is drawing even more attention.
However, amid fans’ expectations, Maroon 5 is criticized for using a design that has the Rising Sun Flag in its world tour image. The Rising Sun Flag is a military flag used by Japan during World War II and is classified as a war criminal flag as a symbol of Japanese militarism.
This is not even the first time Maroon 5 has used the Rising Sun Flag. The music video for Maroon 5’s “One More Night” released in June 2012 also got into the same controversy.
The music video showed Adam Levine practicing boxing, and the Rising Sun Flag was hung behind him. At that time, it was not controversial because most said that it might be originally hung in the gym where the filming was conducted or that it was just a coincidence.
Later in 2019, Jesse Carmichael, a member of Maroon 5, defended the Rising Sun Flag while defending John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s son Sean Lennon, drawing criticism from Korean fans
At that time, Sean Lennon’s girlfriend posted a picture of her wearing a T-shirt with the Rising Sun Flag on SNS. When Korean netizens criticized them, Sean said, “Koreans are like racist without a proper history education,” and “There is no such thing as Asian Nazis. You’re out of your mind,” he mocked. In response, Jess Carmichael agreed that it was a “Sick burn,” which soon became controversial.
Maroon 5 angered Korean fans with the continued use of the Rising Sun Flag despite criticism.
Meanwhile, Maroon 5 is a pop band representing the United States and is enjoying great popularity around the world. They won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 2004 and the Best Pop Duo and Group Performance Award in 2005 and 2007.
Starting with Seoul this year and Quebec, Canada, on July 9th, they will hold world tours in Orlando, Singapore, Tokyo, Osaka, the Philippines, and Bangkok, Thailand.