We the social everyone loves and honor the Stars and Stripes but have not mastered its entire truth
A painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (circa 1920) of Betsy Ross and George Washington (far left)
Americans love our banner. We show it at concerts and stadiums to celebrate, and also at times during the nationwide tragedy to demonstrate our resolve.
We now have our schoolchildren pledge allegiance to it; we now have consecrated it within our anthem that is national have actually any occasion, Flag Day, to honor it every June 14, also contain it on prominent display for the Fourth of July.
Yet the iconography and reputation for the flag that is american specially its very early history, are infused with misconception and misrepresentation. Listed here are five of the very most myths that are prevalent.
Myth # 1: Betsy Ross made the very first US banner.
The Betsy Ross tale is considered the most tenacious bit of fiction relating to the banner. There just is not any legitimate historical proof — letters, diaries, newsprint records, bills of purchase — that Ross (then referred to as Elizabeth Claypoole) either made or possessed a turn in creating the US flag before it made its first in 1777.
The storyline cropped up in 1870, 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 their grandmother made the banner at George Washington’s behest. Canby’s evidence that is sole affidavits from family unit members. The iconic 1893 artwork of Ross sitting in her Philadelphia parlor with all the sun beaming straight straight straight down in the banner in her lap is just a scene devised by Charles H. Weisgerber, the musician and entrepreneur who profited through the Betsy Ross legend.
While Ross did make flags in Philadelphia within the belated 1770s, it’s all but sure that the tale about her creating the flag that is american a misconception.
As President Woodrow Wilson, whom presided on the very first formal Flag that is national Day June 14, 1916, is believed to have replied when expected their thoughts from the tale: “Would it had been real.”
Library of Congress
Much symbolism happens to be caused by them, nevertheless the colors of this US flag have never really had any type of formal imprimatur.
Myth number 2. The red, white and blue colors signify American sacrifice.
No federal legislation, resolution or administrator order exists providing the official reason behind the flag’s colors — or their meaning. The thing that is closest to a description would be the terms of Charles Thomson, the assistant associated with the Continental Congress, who had been instrumental within the design regarding the Great Seal regarding the united states of america.
Thomson’s report 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 . Signifies customewritings vigilance, justice and perseverance.”
Various documents that are official proclamations — including one by President Ronald Reagan marking 1986 given that “Year for the Flag” — have actually echoed that thinking.
However the colors would not have, nor have they ever endured, any formal imprimatur. Historians think that the application of red, white and blue into the Stars and Stripes is because of the inescapable fact that these were the colors associated with very first banner for the United states colonies, the Continental Colors. And there’s doubt that is little the red, white and blue regarding the Continental Colors came from: the Union Jack associated with the great britain.
Users of the Electoral university recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Myth number 3: The Pledge of Allegiance is certainly recited in Congress along with other government systems.
The pledge had been compiled by magazine editor Francis Bellamy in 1892 for the nationwide public college party of this 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s landing. In 1898, throughout the Spanish-American War, ny became the state that is first mandate that public college students recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of each college time. Numerous states used suit, plus the pledge remained a basic regarding the day to day routine in several schools until 1988, whenever it became a problem within 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 areas schools. Dukakis stated he did so after being encouraged that the legislation had been unconstitutional.
During the height associated with campaign, on Sept. 13, 1988, the pledge had been recited on the ground for the House of Representatives when it comes to time that is first. Republican people of the home, have been into the minority, offered an answer compared to that impact, and it also had been accepted by Speaker Jim Wright, a Democrat. Wright ruled that there after, the pledge will be recited at the beginning of company each that the House was in session day.
The Senate didn’t start recital that is daily of pledge until June 24, 1999. Subsequently, the pledge is now the main opening rituals of almost all state and neighborhood government systems.
In line with the Supreme Court, legislation banning banner burning violate free message.
Myth number 4: it really is unlawful to burn the US flag.
It absolutely was unlawful until 1989, as soon as the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 in Texas v. Johnson that burning the banner is a kind of symbolic message protected by the very first Amendment.
The way it is included Gregory Lee Johnson, a known user of this Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade, that has burned the banner throughout a protest during the 1984 Republican National Convention. He had been convicted of breaking Texas’s flag-desecration legislation, fined $2,000 and sentenced up to an in jail year. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the conviction, ruling that Johnson had been working out their First Amendment straight to freedom of message.
The Supreme Court’s choice invalidated a 1968 flag-desecration that is national, in addition to comparable legislation in 48 states (all except Wyoming and Alaska). As a result, Congress passed the Flag Protection Act, but that statutory legislation ended up being additionally challenged and ended 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 generated a nationwide motion to amend the Constitution to create banner desecration unlawful. The key vocals for the reason that work is the people Flag Alliance, that was established in 1994 by the American Legion. Proposed amendments have actually show up frequently 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 recommendations.
Myth number 5: It is okay 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 up against the purchase or display of any “article of merchandise . Upon which shall happen printed, painted, connected, or perhaps put a representation of” the flag to “advertise, phone focus on, decorate, mark, or differentiate the substance or article on which so placed.”
To put it differently, whenever you wear a banner T-shirt or hat while reclining for a us banner coastline towel near your US banner camping seat, you will be breaking the Flag Code. The rule, that was drafted during the National that is first Flag in Washington in 1923, is component associated with legislation of this land. However it is perhaps perhaps maybe not enforced, neither is it enforceable. It’s simply a couple of directions, permitting People in america know very well what to accomplish — and just just just what never to do — with our red, white and blue emblem that is national.
There is absolutely no Flag Police. You simply will not be arrested for putting on a flag-embossed t-shirt on Independence Day — or just about any other time of the season.