We the 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 banner. We show it at concerts and stadiums to commemorate, as well as times during the nationwide tragedy showing our resolve.
We now have our schoolchildren pledge allegiance to it; we’ve consecrated it within our national anthem; we have actually a vacation, 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 American flag, specially its very early history, are infused with myth and misrepresentation. Listed below are five of the most extremely myths that are prevalent.
Myth # 1: Betsy Ross made the initial flag that is american.
The Betsy Ross story is the most tenacious little bit of fiction relating to the flag. There merely is not any legitimate evidence that is historical letters, diaries, magazine reports, bills of purchase — that Ross (then called Elizabeth Claypoole) either made or had a turn in designing the US banner 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, when 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 loved ones. The iconic 1893 artwork of Ross sitting in the sun to her Philadelphia parlor beaming straight down in the banner inside her lap is just a scene designed by Charles H. Weisgerber, the musician and business owner whom profited through the Betsy Ross legend.
While Ross did make flags in Philadelphia within the belated 1770s, it’s all but sure that the storyline about her creating the flag that is american a misconception.
As President Woodrow Wilson, who presided within the very first official nationwide Flag Day on June 14, 1916, is thought to have replied when expected their thoughts in the tale: “Would so it had been real.”
Library of Congress
Much symbolism happens to be caused by them, nevertheless the colors associated with US banner have never really had almost any formal imprimatur.
Myth # 2. The red, white and blue colors represent American sacrifice.
No law that is federal resolution or administrator order exists supplying the state basis for the flag’s colors — or their meaning. The closest thing to a reason would be the terms of Charles Thomson, the secretary for the Continental Congress, who was simply instrumental when you look at the design associated with Great Seal associated with the usa.
Thomson’s are accountable to Congress on June 20, 1782, a single day the seal had been authorized, included a description associated with the colors, just like those who work in the banner: “White signifies purity and purity. Red and Blue . means vigilance, perseverance and justice.”
Various documents that are official proclamations — including one by President Ronald Reagan marking 1986 because the “12 months of this Flag” — have actually echoed that thinking.
However the colors would not have, nor have actually they ever endured, any imprimatur that is official. Historians is edubirdies.org/do-my-homework legal think that the utilization of red, white and blue when you look at the Stars and Stripes is due to the inescapable fact that they certainly were the colors associated with very very first banner associated with United states colonies, the Continental Colors. And there’s small question where the red, white and blue regarding the Continental Colors came from: the Union Jack for the United Kingdom.
People of the Electoral College recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Myth number 3: The Pledge of Allegiance is certainly recited in Congress as well as other government figures.
The pledge ended up being published by mag editor Francis Bellamy in 1892 for a nationwide public college party of this 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s landing. In 1898, throughout the Spanish-American War, nyc 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 observed suit, in addition to pledge stayed a staple regarding the day to day routine in several schools until 1988, whenever it became a concern into the presidential campaign.
Vice President George H.W. Bush criticized their opponent, Democrat Michael Dukakis, for vetoing a bill as governor of Massachusetts that could have needed the pledge become recited in public areas schools. Dukakis stated he did therefore after being encouraged that the statutory legislation ended up being unconstitutional.
In the height associated with the campaign, on Sept. 13, 1988, the pledge ended up being recited on to the floor associated with the House of Representatives for the very first time. Republican users of the homely house, who have been when you look at the minority, offered an answer compared to that impact, also it ended up being accepted by Speaker Jim Wright, a Democrat. Wright ruled that after that, the pledge will be recited from the beginning of company each time that your house was at session.
The Senate failed to start recital that is daily of pledge until June 24, 1999. Since that time, the pledge became area of the opening rituals of almost all state and neighborhood bodies that are governmental.
Based on the Supreme Court, regulations banning banner burning violate speech that is free.
Myth number 4: it really is illegal to burn off the flag that is american.
It absolutely was unlawful until 1989, as soon as the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 in Texas v. Johnson that burning the flag is a kind of symbolic message protected by the very first Amendment.
The actual situation included Gregory Lee Johnson, a known user for the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade, that has burned the banner within a protest during the 1984 Republican National Convention. He had been convicted of breaking Texas’s flag-desecration legislation, fined $2,000 and sentenced to an in jail year. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the conviction, governing that Johnson ended up being working out their First Amendment straight to freedom of message.
The Supreme Court’s choice invalidated a 1968 flag-desecration that is national, along with comparable guidelines in 48 states (all except Wyoming and Alaska). Responding, Congress passed the Flag Protection Act, but that statutory legislation ended up being additionally challenged and finished up in the Supreme Court. The court in 1990 really affirmed its previous ruling, saying that any legislation banning flag burning violated speech that is free.
Those choices resulted in a movement that is national amend the Constitution to create flag desecration unlawful. The best vocals for the reason that work is the people Flag Alliance, that was created in 1994 by the American Legion. Proposed amendments have actually show up frequently inside your home and Senate subsequently but have actually yet to get enough help.
This patriotic shirt positively violates Flag Code instructions.
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 from the purchase or display of every “article of product . Upby which shall happen printed, painted, connected, or perhaps put a representation of” the banner to “advertise, phone awareness of, decorate, mark, or differentiate the substance or article on which so placed.”
Put simply, whenever you wear a flag T-shirt or cap while reclining for a us banner beach towel near your US banner camping chair, you’re violating the Flag Code. The rule, that was used during the very first nationwide Flag Conference in Washington in 1923, is component regarding the legislation for the land. However it is maybe maybe not enforced, neither is it enforceable. It really is simply a collection of directions, permitting Us americans know very well what to accomplish — and just exactly 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 using a t-shirt that is flag-embossed Independence Day — or some other time of the season.