The American flag has appeared on the back of NFL helmets since the 1990 postseason. For at least the next two weeks, it will be accompanied on many players’ helmets by the flags of more than 70 other nations from around the globe.
The international flags are part of the NFL’s annual NFL Heritage program. As explained by the league, “Participants can choose to wear the flag of an international country or territory where relatives have been born or where they’ve lived for over two years.” Although the program is being showcased in weeks 7 and 8, the press release says players “are able to represent their backgrounds throughout the remainder of the season.”
According to the league, over 330 players and coaches, drawn from all 32 teams, are participating. Among players, the Cardinals and Lions have the most participants (18 apiece), while the Steelers have the fewest (three). Among players and coaches, the country represented most often is Nigeria (80 times).
The full list of participants can be found here.