Black Flag is an American HardcorePunk band formed in 1976 in California. The band was established largely as the brainchild of Greg Ginn, guitarist, primary songwriter and sole continuous member through multiple personnel changes. They are widely considered to be one of the first bands of their genre.

Black Flag forged a unique sound early on that mixed the raw simplicity of the Ramones with atonal guitar solos and frequent tempo shifts. The band was also known for the intense and evocative lyrics found in their songs, most of which were penned by Ginn. Like other punk bands of this era, Black Flag gave voice to an anti-authoritarian, non-conformist message, featuring songs punctuated with descriptions of isolation, neurosis, poverty, and paranoia, themes that would be explored further when Music/HenryRollins joined the group as lead singer in 1981. Most of the band's material was released on Ginn's independent label, SST Records.

Black Flag was, and remains, well respected among their underground culture, with their influence primarily in their tireless promotion of a self-controlled DIY ethic and aesthetic. They are often regarded as pioneers in the movement of underground do-it-yourself record labels that flourished among the 1980s punk rock bands. Through seemingly constant touring throughout the United States and Canada, and occasionally Europe, Black Flag established an extremely dedicated fan base. Many other musicians would follow Black Flag's lead and book their own tours, utilizing a word-of-mouth network.

Over the course of the 1980s, Black Flag's sound, as well as their notoriety, evolved in ways that alienated much of their early punk audience. As well as being central to the creation of hardcore, they were part of the first wave of American West Coast punk rock and are considered a key influence on the punk subculture. Along with being among the earliest punk rock groups to incorporate elements and the influence of heavy metal melodies and rhythm (particularly in their later records), there were often overt freestyles, free jazz, breakbeat and contemporary classical elements in their sound, especially in Ginn's guitar playing, and the band interspersed records and performances with instrumentals throughout their career. They also played longer, slower, and more complex songs at a time when many bands in their milieu stuck to a raw, fast, three-chord format. As a result, their extensive discography is more stylistically varied than many of their punk rock contemporaries. Their later, sludgier, metal-influenced material in particular was cited as an influence by {{Grunge}} bands.

In 2013, Black Flag reunited with Ron Reyes after over twenty years of not performing to mixed reviews from the punk community, with their newest album "What The..." being widely hated by fans. Another group emerged in 2013, consisting of ex-Black Flag members, simply titled ''FLAG''. Greg Ginn sued almost immediately, however the courts ruled in FLAG's favor, citing the fact that people ''can'' distinguish between Ginn's band and the band led by people Greg had kicked out as the reason why they ruled in their favor. Regardless, Ginn continues to tour with Black Flag to this day, with several hired guns performing on bass and drums, and pro skateborder Mike Vallely (who literally fired Reyes ''onstage'') on vocals.
!! "Trope party tonight! Trope party tonight!":

* TheAlcoholic[=/=]AlcoholInducedIdiocy: "Six Pack," "Thirsty and Miserable"
** DrunkDriver: "Drinking and Driving"
* {{Bifauxnen}} - Bassist Kira Roessler. Often the only thing gave it away was her affinity for wearing dresses on stage (and even then mostly for shock value) during concerts.
* CarefulWithThatAxe: A lot of their songs their songs have this, most notably the last chorus of "My War".
* TheCoverChangesTheMeaning: They ''completely'' rewrote "Louie Louie" into an AntiLoveSong:
-->"[[LoveMakesYouDumb This pain in my heart\\
It just means I'm not very smart]]\\
Who needs love when you've got a gun?\\
Who needs love to have any fun?"
* DarkerAndEdgier - Ginn said that after Rollins joined, "We couldn't do songs with a sense of humour anymore [[note]]he was talking about "TV Party" specifically[[/note]]; he got into the [[BuffySpeak serious way-out poet thing]]."
* DisproportionateRetribution: The narrator of "Police Story" is beaten "across the head with a billy club", arrested, fined, and is looking at a potential sentence to jail...for flipping off a group of policemen and subsequently yelling at them to "go get fucked".
* TheEighties: Though they started in TheSeventies, this was when they were at their biggest.
* EpicRocking - "Nothing Left Inside", "Scream" and "Three Nights" from ''My War'' are all about 6 minutes in length. "Armageddon Man" from ''Family Man'' clocks at 9 minutes. "Your Last Affront" and the title song of ''The Process of Weeding Out'' are both just under 10 minutes and "You're Not Evil" from ''Slip It In'' is about seven minutes while the titular track is just over six minutes.
* GenreShift: Starting with side B of My War, they started getting slower and more experimental.
* GreenEyedMonster: "Jealous Again"
* HardcorePunk: TropeCodifier alongside Music/MinorThreat.
** PostHardcore: Started to go in this direction in their later yaers
** DoomMetal: Added elements of this starting with ''My War''.
** {{Grunge}}: Not part of the genre, but had a large influence on its formation.
* IntercourseWithYou: "Slip It In," "Loose Nut," "Annihilate This Week"
* {{Jerkass}}: Rollins once said to Ginn "Why don't we make a record that was like the last one so people won't always be trying to catch up with what we're doing?". As revenge, Ginn buried his vocals in the mix of their last album ''In My Head''.
* UsefulNotes/LosAngeles
* MinisculeRocking: This ''is'' Punk Rock, after all. ''The First Four Years'' packs 16 songs into a brisk '''24:40'''.
* ProtestSong - Well, they ''are'' a punk band. "Rise Above," "Police Story," etc.
* RevolvingDoorBand - Ginn was the band's only constant member, although towards the end of their career they toned down the lineup instability somewhat.
* SelfDeprecation - Henry Rollins has said numerous times he thought Black Flag's best work was before he joined the band. Ginn has stated the same, but he's more of a dick about it.
* SlutShaming: Played with (in a way) in "Slip it In". The song takes multiple shots at an woman who is regretful for [[ReallyGetsAround "what [she] did the night before"]], [[YourCheatingHeart hitting on (and sleeping with, if the spoken word intro is anything to go by) other guys when she claims to have a boyfriend]], and blaming her actions on having too much to drink, among other things - however the song later states "You're getting around/I'm not putting it down/It's just what it is/Getting it while it's around", so this song plays the trope straight and subverts it at the same time.
* StageNames - Two notable examples: their first bass player used the name "Chuck Dukowski" as a protest against the then-prevalent anti-Polish prejudice (and "Polish jokes"), and after several falling outs Ron Reyes was credited as "Chavo Pederast" for the ''Jealous Again'' EP, to which he retaliated by hitting his replacement Dez Cadena with a brick and smashing the windshield of the band's touring van. Rollins changed his name upon joining the band (his last name is actually Garfield), which he claims was to avoid trouble with the police.
* TakeThat: "You Bet We've Got Something Personal Against You!" was a blatant one against Keith Morris after he'd left the band.
** When Ron Reyes was fired, he was credited as "Chavo Pederast" on Jealous Again and Everything Went Black.
* WouldntHitAGirl: From "Jealous Again":
-->"No I won't push you around\\
Because if I do the cops would grab me for doin' it"