Myths About the American Flag

The American flag is probably the most recognizable national symbol in the world. It is a powerful and emotional representation of the United States. For generations, the Stars and Stripes have been used to inspire patriotism, unity, and hope. People mount it on their homes, install flagpoles with a flagpole truck to raise the flag daily, wear it on their clothing, and even get it tattooed. 

However, with its popularity and prominence come many misconceptions and myths about the American flag. In this article, we’ll examine and debunk some of these myths.

Myth #1: Flag Code Is the Law

Most Americans respect the US flag code with the utmost respect. They treat it as sacred rules for display and highly respect the Stars and Stripes. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to understand that the Flag Code isn’t law. People don’t face legal repercussions for not following it. It serves as a guide specially made to foster maximum respect for the national flag. It also enhances respect for those who continuously make sacrifices to fight for their freedoms.

For example, the rule says not to wear the American flag on clothes. But how often do you see famous and regular people wearing patriotic outfits? This proves that the rule doesn’t stop people from expressing themselves.

American Flag

Myth #2: The Flag Should Never Touch the Ground

Over the years, you have heard that the American Flag should never touch the ground. Many believe that this act is dishonorable and disrespectful. But this is not illegal. The Flag Code states that the flag can touch the ground as long as it doesn’t get soiled.

So, if you accidentally drop your flag on the ground while hanging it or taking it down, don’t panic. Just make sure to clean it properly before displaying it again.

Myth #3: Burning the Flag Is Illegal

Traditionally, burning the American flag was illegal. However, since June 21, 1989, doing this has been legal and protected under the First Amendment. This is why you see people burning flags during protests. Therefore, should you feel that the only way to express your discontent is through burning the flag, you can do so without worry.

However, this is not respectful and acceptable. As a patriotic citizen, you can express your anger in any way you want. But remember, there are hundreds of ways to do so that don’t involve burning this symbol of national unity.

Myth #4: Betsy Ross Designed the Flag

When you read or hear about the American flag, one name often mentioned is that of Betsy Ross. This historical figure is believed to be the first designer of this beautiful masterpiece. However, this is a myth. Her grandson popularized this story over a century after it supposedly took place. 

The design of the current American flag can be attributed to Francis Hopkinson. He was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. In 1777, he submitted a design for the flag to Congress. This flag featured 13 stars and stripes. It was later modified over time, and more stars were added as new states joined the union.

Final Thoughts

Even though these myths seem harmless, they can go a long way in perpetuating misunderstandings about the flag and its significance. As a citizen, educating yourself about the meaning and history behind this symbol of national unity is integral. It will help you appreciate your country more and prevent you from being one of the perpetrators of myths.

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