From the Film:
Joel Kinnaman is also a great actor. As an age old RoboCop fan I cannot help but have excitement to seehim fill the role of Rick Flag. Flag is an odd one in my opinion. There’s technically three of them since the original Rick Flag sacrifices himself in the original books and is followed by Rick Flag Jr. and Rick Flag III. These characters are of course different, but share many of the same qualities and are harshly reminiscent of the original Rick Flag Sr.. The character played by Hinnaman will be fun to see at the least looking back on his previous roles like The Killing and Child 44.
From the Comic Books:
Richard Montgomery Flag led a division in World War II called the Suicide Squadron. In his first mission, Flag was the only survivor. After that he enjoyed increasing success and decreasing mortality. After the war, he married Sharon Race. In 1951, with the disappearance of the Justice Society of America and other super-heroes, President Harry S. Truman again called on Flag when he created Task Force X.
Task Force X would have two units: the military unit “Argent” (led by “Control”), and the civilian unit “Suicide Squad” which would deal with civilian matters — masked villains and the like. General Jeb Stuart would lead the military side to deal with national and international crises. Though Argent’s recorded activity ceased after 1960, Stuart’s Suicide Squad continued on. Eventually, Flag sacrificed himself in stopping the former Blackhawks’ nemesis, the War Wheel.
Rick Flag Jr.
Flag was replaced in the Squad by his now-grown son, Richard Rogers Flag. Young Rick headed a new, public team which included his girlfriend, Karin Grace, Dr. Hugh Evans, and Jess Bright. In one tragic mission in Cambodia they were pursued by a Yeti. Evans and Bright and the Yeti fell into a crevasse, presumably to their deaths Bright survived, angered at being left behind.
Bright, frostbitten and near-death, was found by the Chinese who nursed him back to health. He thenpassed onto the Russians who transformed him into the bionic monster called Koshchei the Deathless. With his expertise in engineering, Bright assisted in the creation of the Rocket Red Brigade and lent a hand to the nation of Qurac in assembling their metahuman team, the Jihad. Grace also secretly bore Flag’s son and placed him with an adoptive family. Later, Rick was sent to infiltrate the Forgotten Heroes as a spy for the government. After the “death” of the Forgotten Heroes’ leader, the Immortal Man, the team disbanded and Flag worked covertly for the U.S. government.
Rick Flag Jr. was then tapped by the government to lead the new Suicide Squad as formed by Amanda Waller, a role he reluctantly assumed. Immediately, Rick showed signs of instability, which were worsened when Karin Grace became the team’s medic. Flag hated working with the criminals under his command, and resented the notion that he and Deadshot were alike in any way.
There were bright points amongst the Suicide Squad however, as the team was not completely filled with criminals.Nightshade, although she resented Flag at first when she was forced to become an accessory to murder when she became an undercover operative in the Jihad, grew attracted to him. She was never able to admit her feelings to him however, and he took no notice.
Flag also held good relationships with Nemesis and the Bronze Tiger, even though both were in some ways opposed to Flag. Although Nemesis had feelings for Nightshade, something to which Flag was oblivious, he stepped out of the way and respected Nightshade’s feelings. Similarly, the Tiger was originally tapped to become the Squad’s leader, but was instead replaced by Flag, something that the Tiger had no problems with.
The loyalty Flag had towards his teammates and Waller was evident in the fact that he did not shy away from a conflict with the Justice League in order to free Nemesis from Soviet captivity. He also threatened a bureaucrat who was threatening Waller’s position.
This did nothing to ease Flag’s mental instability, and it soon worsened. Flag led a different Squad in a deadly mission involving the Doom Patrol in which he was the only survivor. The death of Karin Grace also served to amplify this and it came to a head when US Senator Cray threatened to reveal the existence of the Suicide Squad to the public.
Unbeknownst to him, Amanda Waller had already dealt with the threat, and Flag set out to assassinate Cray in order to ensure the existence of the Suicide Squad, even though he loathed some of its members. The Squad set out to stop him, with the clearance to do so by any means necessary. The villain Deadshot found Flag and Cray, but instead of killing Flag however, Deadshot murdered the senator. Flag was forced to flee, and unwittingly, the existence of the Suicide Squad was still revealed.
Flag set out to destroy the Jihad team once and for all after learning that his father had previously attacked their stronghold, Jotunheim, during World War II in order to neutralise a Nazi prototype nuclear weapon. He left a note to Nightshade detailing his plans. The bomb was still there, buried under rubble and the Jihad was unaware of its presence. Flag sneaked in and slew his way through to the bomb itself. He battled the Jihad’s leader Rustam personally, just before the bomb exploded.
After his death, Flag appeared in an issue of Captain Atom, where his soul was saved from an eternity in Purgatory and reunited with Karin in Paradise. His Purgatory self also appears in the Day of Judgement, limited series. Along with other Purgatory bound souls, he battles heavenly agents on the behalf of a still living superhero team. As stated in issue five of the series, his rebellious actions earn him another after-life chance.
One Year Later in Checkmate (vol. 2) #6, Rick Flag is revealed to be alive and is rescued from a secret Quraci prison by the Bronze Tiger. He had been imprisoned there for four years until Amanda Waller discovered him and alerted the Tiger to his whereabouts. Rick was later revealed to be leading a clandestine Suicide Squad unit at the behest of Amanda Waller, and against the expressed mandate of the Checkmate organization.
Bob Greenberger, who co-created the Suicide Squad alongside John Ostrander, has publicly objected to the resurrection of Rick Flag. According to Greg Rucka, Rick Flag’s subsequent re-appearance had nothing to do with Infinite Crisis, and John Ostrander has stated that he knew how Rick Flag could survive the explosion at Jotunheim when he first wrote it.
As seen in Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #2, Rustam used his Scimitar to teleport both Rick Flag and himself to Skartaris. In Raise the Flag #5, General Wade Eiling admits that Rick Flag Jr. is not actually the son of Rick Flag Sr., but is a soldier named Anthony Miller who was brainwashed by Eiling into believing he was Flag’s son. Miller’s conditioning means that Eiling still has control of him, and uses him as part of his takeover of the Suicide Squad. Forced to activate an explosive implant in Amanda Waller’s brain, Miller breaks free from his mind control enough to activate Eiling’s implant instead, leaving him helpless enough to be captured. Confronted with the possibility to give up his presumed identity and return home, Miller decides that the Suicide Squad needs a Rick Flag, and refuses the offer.
Rick Flag III:
Rick Flag Jr.’s young son by Karin Grace who also shared his name was introduced in Suicide Squad #50. The boy was kidnapped by Koschei the Deathless (Jess Bright) a member of the Jihad, but was rescued by Nemesis of the Suicide Squad. He has since appeared in Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #4, in which Flag Jr andBronze Tiger visit his adopted home, but Flag refuses to approach him.