The man who would become the Flag-Smasher was the son of a wealthy Swiss banker turned diplomat. As a youth, he accompanied his father on his diplomatic mission to various countries, never living in the same place for more than a year. Although he learned to speak several foreign languages fluently, the constant readjustment to new environments hampered his social growth. Consequently, he felt an outcast and became too introverted to form many friendships. While living in Tokyo, the boy began to study the martial arts, and at fifteen earned his black belt in karate. At the age o nineteen, he followed his father, who had become a delegate to the United Nations, to America and enrolled in Columbia University. He intended to major in political science and follow in his father's footsteps by becoming a diplomat. However, when his father was trampled to death in a riot outside the Latverian embassy, the young man's goals changed. He felt that his father had pursued the goal of world peace and unity far too passively. He would spread the message using the only language he felt the world would respond to, the language of violence.
Employing his vast inheritance to finance his mission, he contracted certain unrevealed parties to supply him with an arsenal of experimental weaponry. He then fashioned himself the costumed identity of the Flag-Smasher and returned to New York to begin a campaign of terrorist assaults on symbols of world separatism such as national flags and embassies.