5 Urban Myths Concerning The United States Flag&Betsy Ross

5 Urban Myths Concerning The United States Flag&Betsy Ross

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 celebrate, and also at times during the nationwide tragedy to demonstrate our resolve.

We now have our schoolchildren pledge allegiance to it; we now have consecrated it in our anthem that is national have actually any occasion, 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 flag that is american particularly its very very early history, are infused with misconception and misrepresentation. Listed below are five of the very most myths that are prevalent.

Myth # 1: Betsy Ross made 1st flag that is american.

The Betsy Ross tale is considered the most tenacious bit of fiction relating to the banner. There merely isn’t any legitimate historical proof — letters, diaries, magazine records, bills of purchase — that Ross (then referred to as Elizabeth Claypoole) either made or had a turn in creating the US banner before it made its first in 1777.

The tale cropped up in 1870, nearly 100 years 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 single proof: affidavits from members of the family. The iconic 1893 painting of Ross sitting in the sun to her Philadelphia parlor beaming straight down in the banner inside her lap is really a scene developed by Charles H. Weisgerber, the musician and business 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 the storyline about her producing the American banner is a misconception.

As President Woodrow Wilson, whom presided throughout the very very first formal Flag that is national Day 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 is related to them, however the colors for the US banner have never really had almost any official imprimatur.

Myth # 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 thing that is closest to a reason will be the terms of Charles Thomson, the assistant of this Continental Congress, who had been instrumental within the design regarding the Great Seal regarding the usa.

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 documents that are official proclamations — including one by President Ronald Reagan marking 1986 given that “12 months associated with the Flag” — have actually echoed that thinking.

Nevertheless the colors would not have, nor have actually they ever endured, any imprimatur that is official. Historians think that the usage of red, white and blue into the Stars and Stripes is because customwritingsв„ў of the fact that is simple these were the colors associated with the very very very first banner for the United states colonies, the Continental Colors. And there’s small question where the red, white and blue associated with the Continental Colors arrived from: the Union Jack for the uk.

Users of the Electoral university 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 ended up being published by magazine editor Francis Bellamy in 1892 for the public that is nationwide party associated with the 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 college day. Numerous states used suit, as well as the pledge stayed a basic of this day to day routine in lots of schools until 1988, whenever it became a problem 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.

During the height for the campaign, on Sept. 13, 1988, the pledge ended up being recited on the ground for the House of Representatives when it comes to very first time. Republican users of the home, have been into 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 at the beginning of company each time that your house was at session.

The Senate would not start recital that is daily of pledge until June 24, 1999. Since that time, the pledge is now an element of the opening rituals of almost all state and neighborhood bodies that are governmental.

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

Myth number 4: it really is unlawful to burn off the US banner.

It absolutely was illegal until 1989, once 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 outcome involved Gregory Lee Johnson, a known user associated with Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade, who’d burned the banner throughout 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 exercising their First Amendment directly to freedom of message.

The Supreme Court’s choice invalidated a 1968 national flag-desecration legislation, along with comparable regulations in 48 states (all except Wyoming and Alaska). 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, stating 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 key vocals in that effort happens to be the people Flag Alliance, that has been established in 1994 because of the American Legion. Proposed amendments have actually show up frequently inside your home and Senate since that time but have actually yet to get support that is sufficient.

This patriotic shirt positively violates Flag Code recommendations.

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

The U.S. Flag Code frowns from the utilization of the banner “to promote purposes.” It continues to alert up against the display or sale of every “article of product . upon which shall have already 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.”

This means, whenever 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 component regarding the legislation regarding the land. However it is not enforced, neither is it enforceable. It really is simply a collection of instructions, permitting Us americans know very well what to accomplish — and exactly what never to do — with our red, white and blue nationwide emblem.

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