We the social everyone loves 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, and also at times during the nationwide tragedy to exhibit our resolve.
We have our schoolchildren pledge allegiance to it; we now have consecrated it inside our national anthem; we have any occasion, Flag Day, to honor it every June 14, as well as get it on prominent display for the Fourth of July.
Yet the iconography and reputation for the flag that is american specially its very very early history, are infused with myth and misrepresentation. Listed here are five of the very commonplace urban myths.
Myth # 1: Betsy Ross made the very first US flag.
The Betsy Ross tale is considered the most piece that is tenacious of relating to the banner. There just isn’t any legitimate evidence that is historical letters, diaries, newsprint 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 tale 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 nearest and dearest. The iconic 1893 artwork of Ross sitting in the sun to her Philadelphia parlor beaming straight straight straight down in the banner inside her lap is a scene devised by Charles H. Weisgerber, the musician and business academic essay writers owner whom profited through the Betsy Ross legend.
While Ross did make flags in Philadelphia when you look at 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 on the very very very first formal Flag that is national Day June 14, 1916, is believed to have replied when expected their thoughts in the tale: „Would that it had been real.“
Library of Congress
Much symbolism has been related to them, however the colors regarding the US banner have never really had almost any formal imprimatur.
Myth #2. The red, white and blue colors represent American sacrifice.
No federal legislation, resolution or professional order exists providing the state cause 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 into the design associated with Great Seal of this 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 formal papers and proclamations — including one by President Ronald Reagan marking 1986 while the „12 months associated with the Flag“ — have actually echoed that reasoning.
Nevertheless the colors would not have, nor have actually they ever endured, any formal imprimatur. Historians genuinely believe that the employment of red, white and blue into the Stars and Stripes is due to the inescapable fact that these were the colors associated with very very first flag for the United states colonies, the Continental Colors. And there’s small question where the red, white and blue for the Continental Colors arrived from: the Union Jack associated with the great britain.
People of the Electoral College recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Myth # 3: The Pledge of Allegiance is certainly recited in Congress along with other bodies that are governmental.
The pledge had been authored by mag editor Francis Bellamy in 1892 for the nationwide public college party regarding the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s landing. In 1898, through 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 day. Many states accompanied suit, as well as the pledge stayed a basic regarding the day by day routine in a lot of 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 could have needed the pledge become recited in public areas schools. Dukakis stated he did therefore after being encouraged that the legislation ended up being unconstitutional.
During the height regarding the campaign, on Sept. 13, 1988, the pledge ended up being recited on the floor for the House of Representatives when it comes to very first time. Republican users of the home, have been when you look at the minority, offered an answer to this impact, plus it had been accepted by Speaker Jim Wright, a Democrat. Wright ruled that there after, the pledge will be recited in the beginning of company each that the House was in session day.
The Senate would not start day-to-day recital regarding the pledge until June 24, 1999. Ever since then, the pledge is now area of the opening rituals of almost all state and regional bodies that are governmental.
Based on the Supreme Court, legislation banning banner burning violate free message.
Myth # 4: it really is unlawful to burn off the flag that is american.
It absolutely was unlawful 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, member associated with the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade, that has burned the banner during a protest during the 1984 Republican National Convention. He had been convicted of breaking Texas’s flag-desecration law, fined $2,000 and sentenced up to a 12 months in prison. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the conviction, governing that Johnson had been working out their First Amendment straight to freedom of message.
The Supreme Court’s choice invalidated a 1968 nationwide flag-desecration legislation, also comparable guidelines 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 national motion to amend the Constitution to help make banner desecration unlawful. The key vocals in that work happens to be the people Flag Alliance, that has been launched in 1994 by the American Legion. Proposed amendments have actually show up frequently in the home and Senate ever since then but have actually yet to get adequate help.
This shirt that is patriotic violates Flag Code instructions.
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 on to alert from the purchase or display of any „article of product . Upby which shall happen printed, painted, connected, or perhaps placed a representation of“ the banner to „advertise, phone awareness of, decorate, mark, or distinguish the substance or article on which so placed.“
Or in other words, once you wear a banner T-shirt or cap 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 of this legislation for the land. However it is not enforced, neither is it enforceable. It really is just a couple of directions, permitting People in america understand what to accomplish — and exactly exactly what never to do — with our red, white and blue emblem that is national.
There is absolutely no Flag Police. You’ll not be arrested for using a t-shirt that is flag-embossed Independence Day — or just about any other time of the season.