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 banner. We show it at concerts and stadiums to commemorate, as well as times during the nationwide tragedy to demonstrate 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, as well as own it on prominent display when it comes to Fourth of July.
Yet the iconography and reputation for the US banner, specially its very very early history, are infused with misconception and misrepresentation. Listed below are five of the very most commonplace urban myths.
Myth # 1: Betsy Ross made the very first US banner.
The Betsy Ross tale is one of piece that is tenacious of relating to the banner. There merely is not any legitimate historical proof — letters, diaries, paper reports, bills of sale — that Ross (then referred to as Elizabeth Claypoole) either made or possessed a submit creating the US banner before it made its debut in 1777.
The storyline cropped up in 1870, nearly a century following the first banner had been 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 relations. The iconic 1893 artwork of Ross sitting in her Philadelphia parlor aided by the sunlight beaming down in the banner in her own lap is a scene devised by Charles H. Weisgerber, the musician and business owner 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 producing the US banner is a myth.
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 related to them, however the colors for the US banner have never really had any type of formal imprimatur.
Myth number 2. The red, white and blue colors represent American sacrifice.
No federal legislation, resolution or professional order exists supplying the state cause for the flag’s colors — or their meaning. The closest thing to a reason will be the terms of Charles Thomson, the assistant of this Continental Congress, who was simply instrumental within the design associated with Great Seal associated with 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 formal papers and proclamations — including one by President Ronald Reagan marking 1986 due to the fact “12 months associated with the Flag” — have actually echoed that thinking.
However the colors don’t have, nor have actually they ever endured, any imprimatur that is official. Historians genuinely believe that the usage of red, white and blue when you look at the Stars and Stripes is because of the fact that is simple these people were the colors associated with very first banner associated with the United states colonies, the Continental Colors. And there’s doubt that is little the red, white and blue associated with Continental Colors arrived from: the Union Jack associated with the great britain.
People in the Electoral university recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Myth number 3: The Pledge of Allegiance is definitely recited in Congress along with other governmental systems.
The pledge had been published by magazine editor Francis Bellamy in 1892 for the public that is nationwide celebration of this 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s landing. In 1898, through 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 adopted suit, therefore the pledge stayed a basic regarding the day to 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 advised that the legislation had been unconstitutional.
In the height for the campaign, on Sept. 13, 1988, the pledge ended up being recited on the ground of this House of Representatives when it comes to time that is first. Republican users of the homely house, who had been when you look at the minority, offered an answer to that particular impact, plus 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 at session.
The Senate failed to start daily recital regarding the pledge until June 24, 1999. Since that time, the pledge has grown to become the main opening rituals of almost all state and regional bodies that are governmental.
According to the Supreme Court, regulations banning banner burning violate speech that is free.
Myth number 4: it really is unlawful to burn off the US banner.
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 initial Amendment.
The actual situation included Gregory Lee Johnson, user associated with the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade, that has burned the banner within 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 an in jail year. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the conviction, governing that Johnson ended up being working out their First Amendment directly to freedom of message.
The Supreme Court’s choice invalidated a 1968 nationwide flag-desecration legislation, along with comparable regulations in 48 states (all except Wyoming and Alaska). As a result, Congress passed the Flag Protection Act, but that statutory legislation ended up being also challenged and ended 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 help make banner desecration unlawful. The key vocals for the reason that work is the people Flag Alliance, that has been established in 1994 because of the American Legion. Proposed amendments have actually show up regularly in the home and Senate ever since then but have actually yet to get enough help.
This patriotic shirt surely violates Flag Code tips.
Myth number 5: It is okay to wear 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 contrary to the display or sale of every “article of product . upon which shall have now been printed, painted, connected, or perhaps put a representation of” the flag to “advertise, phone awareness of, decorate, mark, or differentiate this article or substance on which so placed.”
Put simply, once you wear a banner T-shirt or cap while reclining for a us banner beach towel near your American banner camping seat, you’re breaking the Flag Code. The rule, that was used during the very first National Flag Conference in Washington in 1923, is part associated with legislation of this land. However it is perhaps not enforced, neither is it enforceable. It’s simply a collection of recommendations, permitting Us americans understand what to accomplish custom writing — and exactly what never to do — with our red, white and blue emblem that is national.
There’s absolutely no Flag Police. You’ll not be arrested for putting on a t-shirt that is flag-embossed Independence Day — or just about any time of the season.