5 Fables Concerning The United States Flag&Betsy Ross

5 Fables 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 display it at concerts and stadiums to commemorate, as well as times during the nationwide tragedy to exhibit our resolve.

We now have our schoolchildren pledge allegiance to it; we now have consecrated it within 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 flag, particularly its very early history, are infused with misconception and misrepresentation. Listed below are five of the very myths that are prevalent.

Myth # 1: Betsy Ross made the very first flag that is american.

The Betsy Ross tale is one of piece that is tenacious of concerning the banner. There simply isn’t any credible historical proof — letters, diaries, paper accounts, bills of purchase — that Ross (then called Elizabeth Claypoole) either made or possessed a turn in creating 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, whenever William Canby, Ross’ grandson, told the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia that their grandmother made the flag at George Washington’s behest. Canby’s evidence that is sole affidavits from family unit members. The iconic 1893 painting of Ross sitting in her Philadelphia parlor with all the sunlight beaming straight straight down in the banner in her own lap is just a scene developed by Charles H. Weisgerber, the artist and entrepreneur 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 tale about her producing the US banner is a misconception.

As President Woodrow Wilson, whom presided on the very very very first formal nationwide Flag Day on June 14, 1916, is thought to have replied when expected their thoughts regarding the tale: «Would so it had been real.»

Library of Congress

Much symbolism happens to be related to them, nevertheless 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 administrator order exists supplying the official cause for the flag’s colors — or their meaning. The closest thing to a conclusion will be the words of Charles Thomson, the secretary for the Continental Congress, who was simply instrumental within the design regarding the Great Seal associated with united states of america.

Thomson’s are accountable to Congress on June 20, 1782, your day the seal ended up being authorized, included a description regarding the colors, exactly like those who work in the flag: «White signifies purity and purity. Red and Blue . Signifies vigilance, justice and perseverance.»

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

However the colors don’t have, nor have they ever had, any formal imprimatur. Historians think that the utilization of red, white and blue into the Stars and Stripes is because of the inescapable fact that these were the colors regarding the very first banner associated with United states colonies, the Continental Colors. And there’s doubt that is little the red, white and blue associated with the Continental Colors arrived from: the Union Jack for the uk.

People in the Electoral university recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Myth # 3: The Pledge of Allegiance is definitely recited in Congress as well as other governmental systems.

The pledge ended up being authored by mag editor Francis Bellamy in 1892 for a public that is nationwide party associated with the 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. Many states adopted suit, as well as the pledge stayed a basic 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 had been unconstitutional.

During the height of this campaign, on Sept. 13, 1988, the pledge ended up being recited on to the floor of this House of Representatives for the first-time. Republican people in the home, who have been within the minority, offered an answer to this impact, also it ended up being accepted by Speaker Jim Wright, a Democrat. Wright ruled that there after, the pledge will be recited from the beginning of company each time that the home was at session.

The Senate failed to begin recital that is daily of pledge until June 24, 1999. Since that time, the pledge is becoming an element of the opening rituals of almost all state and regional government figures.

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

Myth # 4: it really is unlawful to burn off the flag that is american.

It had been unlawful 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 situation included Gregory Lee Johnson, user for the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade, who’d 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 had been working out his First Amendment straight to freedom of message.

The Supreme Court’s choice invalidated a 1968 nationwide flag-desecration legislation, in addition to comparable legislation in 48 states (all except Wyoming and Alaska). buy essay In reaction, Congress passed the Flag Protection Act, but that statutory legislation 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 speech that is free.

Those choices resulted in a nationwide movement to amend the Constitution to create banner desecration illegal. The leading vocals in that work happens to be the people Flag Alliance, that has been launched in 1994 because of the American Legion. Proposed amendments have show up regularly 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 # 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 on to alert up against the purchase or display of any «article of merchandise . upon which shall were printed, painted, attached, or perhaps put a representation of» the banner to «advertise, phone focus on, decorate, mark, or differentiate the content or substance on which so placed.»

This means, once you wear a banner T-shirt or cap while reclining on a flag that is american towel near your US banner camping seat, you might be breaking the Flag Code. The rule, that was drafted during the National that is first Flag in Washington in 1923, is a component for the law associated with land. However it is perhaps maybe perhaps not enforced, neither is it enforceable. Its just a collection of tips, permitting Us americans know very well what to accomplish — and just just what never to do — with our red, white and blue emblem that is national.

There’s absolutely no Flag Police. You won’t be arrested for using a t-shirt that is flag-embossed Independence Day — or just about any other time of the season.