5 Myths Concerning The United States Flag&Betsy Ross

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5 Myths Concerning The United States Flag&Betsy Ross

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, and also at times during the nationwide tragedy showing our resolve.

We now have our schoolchildren pledge allegiance to it; we now have consecrated it inside our anthem that is national have actually a vacation, Flag Day, to honor it every June 14, also get it on prominent display when it comes to Fourth of July.

Yet the iconography and reputation for the US banner, specially its very early history, are infused with misconception and misrepresentation. Listed here are five of the most extremely myths that are prevalent.

Myth # 1: Betsy Ross made the initial US banner.

The Betsy Ross tale is one of piece that is tenacious of concerning the banner. There just is not any legitimate evidence that is historical letters, diaries, magazine reports, bills of purchase — that Ross (then referred to as Elizabeth Claypoole) either made or possessed a submit creating the US banner before it made its first in 1777.

The storyline cropped up in 1870, very nearly a century following the very first banner had been 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 nearest and dearest. The iconic 1893 artwork of Ross sitting in the sun to her Philadelphia parlor beaming straight straight down in the banner inside her lap is really a scene created 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 the story about her producing the flag that is american a misconception.

As President Woodrow Wilson, whom presided within the very first formal Flag that is national Day June 14, 1916, is believed to have replied when expected their thoughts in the tale: «Would so it had been true.»

Library of Congress

Much symbolism happens to be related to them, however the colors of this flag that is american never really had almost any formal imprimatur.

Myth number 2. The red, white and blue colors represent American sacrifice.

No law that is federal resolution or professional order exists supplying the official reason behind 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 regarding the Great Seal regarding the united states of america.

Thomson’s are accountable to Congress on June 20, 1782, your day the seal had been authorized, included a description associated with the colors, exactly like those in the banner: «White signifies purity and purity. Red and Blue . means vigilance, perseverance and justice.»

Various formal papers and proclamations — including one by President Ronald Reagan marking 1986 since the «12 months for the Flag» — have actually echoed that thinking.

Nevertheless the colors would not have, nor have actually they ever endured, any formal imprimatur. Historians think that the application of red, white and blue in the Stars and Stripes is because of the fact that is simple they certainly were the colors for the very first banner regarding the United states colonies, the Continental Colors. And there’s little question where the red, white and blue of this Continental Colors arrived from: the Union Jack regarding the great britain.

People in the Electoral university recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Myth # 3: The Pledge of Allegiance is definitely recited in Congress along with other bodies that are governmental.

The pledge ended up being compiled by mag editor Francis Bellamy in 1892 for the nationwide public school party for 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 time. Numerous states accompanied suit, and also the pledge stayed a basic associated with the day by day routine in several schools until 1988, when it became a concern when you look at 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 places schools. Dukakis stated he did therefore after being encouraged that the legislation ended up being unconstitutional.

In the height associated with campaign, on Sept. 13, 1988, the pledge ended up being recited on the ground associated with the House of Representatives for the very first time. Republican people of the homely house, have been within the minority, offered an answer compared to that impact, and it also ended up being accepted by Speaker Jim Wright, a Democrat. Wright ruled that there after, the pledge could be recited at the beginning of company each that the House was in session day.

The Senate would not start day-to-day recital associated with pledge until June 24, 1999. Ever since then, the pledge is now the main opening rituals of almost all state and local bodies that are governmental.

In line with the Supreme Court, laws and regulations banning banner burning violate free message.

Myth number 4: it’s unlawful to burn off the flag that is american.

It absolutely was illegal until 1989, if the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 in Texas v. Johnson that burning the banner is a kind of symbolic message protected by the initial Amendment.

The truth included Gregory Lee Johnson, a known user associated with Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade, that has burned the banner throughout a protest at the 1984 Republican National Convention. He had been convicted of violating Texas’s flag-desecration legislation, fined $2,000 and sentenced 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 directly to freedom of message.

The Supreme custom writings Court’s decision 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 law has also been challenged and ended up in the Supreme Court. The court in 1990 basically affirmed its previous ruling, saying that any legislation banning flag burning violated free speech.

Those choices resulted in a nationwide motion to amend the Constitution which will make banner desecration unlawful. The best vocals for the reason that work was the Citizens Flag Alliance, that has been started in 1994 by the American Legion. Proposed amendments have actually show up frequently in the home and Senate since that time but have actually yet to get enough help.

This shirt that is patriotic violates Flag Code tips.

Myth number 5: It is okay to put on a Stars-and-Stripes T-shirt.

The U.S. Flag Code frowns in the utilization of the banner «to promote purposes.» It continues to alert from the display or sale of any «article of product . upon which shall were printed, painted, connected, or perhaps put a representation of» the banner to «advertise, phone awareness of, decorate, mark, or differentiate this article or substance on which so placed.»

Put simply, whenever you wear a banner T-shirt or hat while reclining for a flag that is american towel near your US flag camping seat, you’re breaking the Flag Code. The rule, that was used during the National that is first Flag in Washington in 1923, is a component of this legislation of this land. However it is maybe perhaps not enforced, neither is it enforceable. It really is simply a couple of recommendations, 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 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.

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