The Hat Flick TikTok Trend Is Stirring Controversy Over A Traditional Greeting

There are a lot of ways to say hello or greet someone respectfully that are regional, meaning they might not be common outside of a certain area. A cool way to get a glimpse of how other people live is often through TikTok videos of folks sharing their cultural traditions.

For instance, right now there is a trend called the #HatFlickChallenge. It was supposedly started by rodeo rider Dale Brisby, who is pretty country. And in the country, people sometimes say hello by running their hand along the brim of their hat and then flicking it.

This is a gesture I have personally seen before, but never used that I can remember. It’s just not my culture. But it looks familiar:


I need answers #CashAppInBio #HomeCooked #hatflick #hatflickchallenge #deermullet #deermulletarmy #deermulletgang #foryoupage #fypシ #fyp #4upage

♬ original sound – Josh Holland

Though some country people don’t like it:


Hat flick. Its weird! #why #hatflickchallenge #cowboyshit #puptalks #ranchdog #cowboygirl #ranchyshit #punchybitch

♬ original sound – Cowby Gal

As the videos of people doing the hat flick spread, so did the rumor that it’s a racist gesture, a secret symbol people are using to see if they’re both racist and on the same page about it.

My guess is that this is coming from the fact that almost everyone doing the gesture is white and from the south. It’s also the kind of thing where the trend may not have been racist initially, but the more people talk about how it is, the more likely it becomes that the people joining in are racist.

Sort of like how the “OK” hand symbol was called a white power gesture on the Internet so much it became one even though it wasn’t before.

That’s all kind of dark. Which is why people love this TikTok from comedian Austin Kleeman, who stitched a TikToker who was asking how the hat flicking could be racist.

He then told a story about how his grandpa sold sheep and one day a man bought a single sheep from them and kept flicking his hat during the sale. Kleeman says as they left the guy and sheep behind, he asked what the hat flicking meant.

And allegedly his grandpa told him it had a sexual connotation…for the sheep:


#stitch with @theregularmatt my grandpa also sold carpet. #trend #comedy #ProjectCar #stupid #xyzbca #fyp #thick #hair #jokes

♬ original sound – Austin Kleeman

So, did TikTok ruin hat flicking, or make it way better? 

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