American citizens, and even those who live in the United States perma-nently who are not citizens, should revere the American flag out of a deep sense of our national heritage and the freedom the flag stands for. Our flag reflects the America's pledge to uphold freedom and work for
Image Source: peace throughout the world.
“It is America's strength in honor, as dignified in the stars and stripes of the flag, which helps to establish the moral character of our national foundation.” http://usa-the-republic.com/flag
Our flag symbolizes the love and pride that Americans have as a nation and serves a reminder of our fortune to live in a country which values freedom above all else. That is the reason we honor the flag.
Flag Day, celebrated on June 14, commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States which occurred on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.
YES, VIRGINIA! THERE IS A GOVERNMENT FLAG CODE
Why are you not surprised? We have laws and codes for just about everything imaginable.
One hundred and forty-six years passed before Congress decided the country needed a code to guide the presentation and handling of the American flag. I guess our forefathers had other, more important things to do.
On June 14, 1923 a National Flag Code was adopted by the National Flag Conference, attended by representatives of the Army and Navy which had evolved their own procedures, and some 66 other national groups. This purpose of providing clear guidance based on the Army and Navy procedures relating to display and associated questions about the U. S. Flag was adopted by all organizations in attendance. usa-the-republic.com/items
Almost ten years later, on June 22, 1942, Congress passed a joint resolution which was amended on December 22, 1942 to become Public Law 829, Chapter 806. This law contains the precise rules and regulations for the use and display of the flag. It also addresses similar regulations for playing the National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, and Manner of Delivery were included.
THERE ARE NO FLAG POLICE
This Public Law did not impose penalties for misuse of the US Flag, but left it up to each state and the District of Columbia to adopt their own laws to enforce the code. However, before 1989, Title 18 of the US Code imposed criminal penalties for certain acts of desecration to the flag.
Since we have become a litigious people, a law suit ensued and the Supreme Court held the statute unconstitutional. This statute was amended when the Flag Protection Act of 1989 imposed a fine and/or up to I year in prison for knowingly mutilating, defacing, physically defiling, maintaining on the floor or trampling upon any flag of the United States. Again the Flag Protection Act of 1989 was struck down by the Supreme Court decision on United States vs. Eichman, June 11, 1990.
So much for the states. The original adopted Flag Code in Public Law 829 is still intact.
THE MEANING OF THE US FLAG
While the code does not articulate any definition of what the flag is supposed to mean, it is generally thought of as representing the principles of liberty, justice, and humanity, and the patriotic ideals and spiritual qualities of the citizens of the US.
Most American know a little about the US flag. Some remember that the thirteen stripes in white and red represent the thirteen colonies and the stars on the field of blue [originally 13 and now 50] represent the union of the states under one federal government.
And we all have heard, been taught, learned, that Betsy Ross sewed the first US Flag. This is one of a number of myths, or at least misinterpretations, related to the US Flag.
That's what I was taught back in the day. And back then, if it was in print, it had to be correct. Right?
Actually, there is no historic evidence that Elizabeth Claypoole [her maiden name] Ross was involved in either the design or production of the flag that made its debut in 1777. It appears that this myth found fertile ground in 1870 when Betsy Ross' grandson
William Canby, first made this claim [100
Betsy Ross presenting the 1st American flag to years after the fact]. to General George Washington - painting by
by Edward Percy Moran, c. 1917
Image Credit: United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division
It's true that Ross made flags in Philadelphia in the late 1770, along with many other women, but most historians now believe the story about the first flag as pure legend.
ymbolize American sacrifice.
Nothing in the statues mentions an official reason or explanation for the colors of our flag. When people say the colors symbolize something, they are probably referring to the explanation given by Charles Thomson, secretary of the Continental Congress, about the meaning of the colors in the Great Seal of the United States which are also red, white, and blue.
Thomson's report to the Congress in 1782, says the "white signifies purity and innocence; red, hardiness and valor; and blue signifies vigilance, preservation, and justice."
Image source: reservedtothestates.com/2016 ▼
Burning the flag was illegal until 1989, when the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 in Texas vs. Johnson that burning the flag is a form of symbolic speech protected by the First Amendment.
The Supreme Court’s decision invalidated a 1968 national flag-desecration law, as well as similar laws in 48 states (all except Wyoming and Alaska). In response, Congress passed the Flag Protection Act, but that law was also challenged and wound up in the Supreme Court. The court in 1990 essentially affirmed its earlier ruling, stating that any law banning flag burning violated free speech.
The Code also states that the flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever and goes on to say specify a number of things. Technically, if you wear garments or use beach towels bearing replicas of the US Flag, you are violating the Flag Code.
● The Pledge of Allegiance has been recited in Congress and other governmental bodies for a long time.
The Pledge was written by Francis Bellamy [a magazine editor] in 1892, and was recited in public schools before 1898. The Pledge wasn't recited on the floor of the House of Representatives until 1988. The Senate began using it as part of the opening ritual in 1999.
● The US Has 51 [or 52?] States.
The good old USA has only 50 states. The last one added was Hawaii in 1959. Apparently, some people [mostly outside the US] believe that the federal District of Columbia, Washington DC, is a state, which it is not. Others may include the unincorporated territories like Puerto Rice, Guam, and American Samoa, to name just a few.
OTHER FLAG CODE RESTRICTIONS
● The flag code does prohibit the display a US flag with fewer than 50 states A flag that has been used to cover a casket cannot be used for any other proper display purpose.
● A flag that has been used to cover a casket cannot be used for any other proper display purpose. There was no indication if this was intended to also mean displaying in the private home by the family of a service man or woman who had had a military funeral.
● CCRs (condominium requirements and restrictions) cannot prohibit the display of the US flag.
● The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all weather flag is displayed.
● It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during hours of darkness.
● The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, etc.