We the social people love and honor the Stars and Stripes but have not learned its entire truth
A artwork by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (circa 1920) of Betsy Ross and George Washington (far left)
Americans love our flag. We show it at concerts and stadiums to commemorate, as well as times during the nationwide tragedy to exhibit our resolve.
We now have our schoolchildren pledge allegiance to it; we now have consecrated it inside our national anthem; we have actually a vacation, Flag Day, to honor it every June 14, also get it on prominent display for the Fourth of July.
Yet the iconography and reputation for the flag that is american particularly its very very early history, are infused with misconception and misrepresentation. Listed below are five of the very commonplace fables.
Myth # 1: Betsy Ross made the initial flag that is american.
The Betsy Ross tale is one of piece that is tenacious of concerning the banner. There merely is not any legitimate historical proof — letters, diaries, magazine reports, bills of purchase — that Ross (then referred to as Elizabeth Claypoole) either made or possessed a submit creating the US flag before it made its first in 1777.
The storyline cropped up in 1870, very nearly a century following the flag that is first supposedly sewn, whenever William Canby, Ross’ grandson, told the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia that his grandmother made the banner at George Washington’s behest. Canby’s evidence that is sole affidavits from loved ones. The iconic 1893 artwork of Ross sitting in her Philadelphia parlor aided by the sunlight beaming straight down in the flag inside her lap is just a scene developed by Charles H. Weisgerber, the musician and business owner whom profited through the Betsy Ross legend.
While Ross did make flags in Philadelphia into the belated 1770s, it’s all but sure that the storyline about her producing the flag that is american a misconception.
As President Woodrow Wilson, whom presided within the first formal Flag that is national Day June 14, 1916, is believed to have replied when expected their thoughts regarding the story: “Would so it had been real.”
Library of Congress
Much symbolism happens to be caused by them, however the colors associated with American banner have never ever had any type of formal imprimatur.
Myth number 2. The red, white and colors that are blue American sacrifice.
No federal legislation, resolution or professional order exists supplying the official basis for the flag’s colors — or their meaning. The closest thing to a conclusion will be the terms of Charles Thomson, the assistant for the Continental Congress, who was simply instrumental within the design associated with the Great Seal regarding the united states of america.
Thomson’s are accountable to Congress on 20, 1782, the day the seal was approved, contained a description of the colors, the same as those in the flag: “White signifies purity and innocence june. Red and Blue . means vigilance, perseverance and justice.”
Various documents that are official proclamations — including one by President Ronald Reagan marking 1986 due to the fact “12 months associated with the Flag” — have echoed that thinking.
Nevertheless the colors don’t have, nor have actually they ever endured, any formal imprimatur. Historians think that the usage of red, white and blue into the Stars and Stripes is due to the reality that these were the colors associated with the very first banner regarding the United states colonies, the Continental Colors. And there’s small question where the red, white and blue regarding the Continental Colors arrived from: the Union Jack of this great britain.
People in the Electoral university recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Myth # 3: The Pledge of Allegiance is certainly recited in Congress as well as other government systems.
The pledge ended up being published by mag editor Francis Bellamy in 1892 for the public that is nationwide celebration associated with the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s landing. In 1898, throughout the Spanish-American War, nyc became the very first state to mandate that public college students recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of each school time. Numerous states accompanied suit, as well as the pledge stayed a basic regarding the day by day routine in numerous schools until 1988, whenever it became a problem into the campaign that is presidential.
Vice President George H.W. Bush criticized their opponent, Democrat Michael Dukakis, for vetoing a bill as governor of Massachusetts that will have needed the pledge become recited in public places schools. Dukakis stated he did therefore after being encouraged that the statutory legislation ended up being unconstitutional.
In the height regarding the campaign, on Sept. 13, 1988, the pledge ended up being recited on the ground of this House of Representatives for the first-time. Republican users of the homely house, have been into the minority, offered an answer to this impact, also it had been accepted by Speaker Jim Wright, a Democrat. Wright ruled that there after, the pledge could be recited in the beginning of company each time that the home was in session.
The Senate would not start recital that is daily of pledge until June 24, 1999. Ever since then, the pledge has grown to become area of the opening rituals of almost all state and regional governmental figures.
In line with the Supreme Court, rules banning banner burning violate speech that is free.
Myth # 4: it really is illegal to burn off the flag that is american.
It absolutely was illegal until 1989, once the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 in Texas v. Johnson that burning the banner is a type of symbolic message protected by the very first Amendment.
The truth included Gregory Lee Johnson, a known member associated with Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade, that has burned the banner during a protest in the 1984 Republican National Convention. He had been convicted of breaking Texas’s flag-desecration legislation, fined $2,000 and sentenced to a year in jail. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the conviction, governing that Johnson had been working out their First Amendment directly to freedom we do your essay of speech.
The Supreme Court’s choice invalidated a 1968 flag-desecration that is national, along with comparable legislation in 48 states (all except Wyoming and Alaska). As a result, Congress passed the Flag Protection Act, but that statutory legislation has also been challenged and finished up in the Supreme Court. The court in 1990 really affirmed its earlier ruling, saying that any legislation banning flag burning violated free message.
Those choices resulted in a movement that is national amend the Constitution to help make banner desecration unlawful. The key sound for the reason that work was the people Flag Alliance, that has been established in 1994 because of the American Legion. Proposed amendments have actually show up regularly inside your home and Senate since that time but have actually yet to get support that is sufficient.
This shirt that is patriotic violates Flag Code tips.
Myth number 5: It really is OK to put on a Stars-and-Stripes T-shirt.
The U.S. Flag Code frowns regarding the utilization of the banner “to promote purposes.” It continues to alert from the display or sale of any “article of product . Upupon which shall happen printed, painted, connected, or perhaps put a representation of” the banner to “advertise, phone focus on, decorate, mark, or differentiate the substance or article on which so placed.”
To phrase it differently, once you wear a flag T-shirt or cap while reclining for a flag that is american towel near your US banner camping seat, you might be breaking the Flag Code. The rule, that was drafted during the very first nationwide Flag Conference in Washington in 1923, is component associated with legislation of this land. However it is perhaps maybe not enforced, neither is it enforceable. It really is simply a couple of recommendations, permitting Us americans understand what to accomplish — and just what never to do — with our red, white and blue emblem that is national.
There’s no Flag Police. You simply will not be arrested for putting on a t-shirt that is flag-embossed Independence Day — or some other time of the season.