Happy Flag Day! Here’s Some Things You May Not Have Known About the US Flag
It's Flag Day! On this day in 1777, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as our flag, but it wasn't until 1916 that President Woodrow Wilson made it an official day of observance. So, howsabout some things you may not know about the US Flag?
Betsy Ross didn't make the first flag. Aside from Betsy Ross's grandson telling everyone his gammy created it, there is no proof. No newspaper stories about it, no one wrote it down in a diary, and, heck, no one even wrote a letter about it. Not even one of those braggy Christmas letters (and you KNOW it'd be in there!).
It's not illegal to burn the flag. It was illegal, until 1969, when the Supreme Court said flag burning should be protected as a form of free speech. In fact, Food for thought, one of the approved ways to destroy a worn out flag is by burning it. So, if you made flag burning against the law, are you punishing the act, or the thought?
You're not supposed to put the flag in advertisements, on beach towels, etc. I don't think it'll stop anyone, but the U.S. Flag Code gives the thumbs down to using the flag "for advertising purposes" and says not to sell or display anything "upon which shall have been printed, painted, attached, or otherwise placed a representation of" the flag to "advertise, call attention to, decorate, mark, or distinguish the article or substance on which so placed."
Now, keep in mind, The Code was drawn up back in 1923, but no one's enforcing it. Well, maybe your neighbor, who loves the flag. She'll give you the stink-eye if you're laying on an American Flag beach towel, or wiping that 4th of July BBQ sauce off your face with an American flag napkin, but that's it. On the other hand, if you love the flag, why not follow the rules set up back in the day?
It wasn't a tradition to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in the US House of Representatives Congress, until 1988, and in the Senate until 1999. And it was only because the Pledge came up as an issue during the Bush–Dukakis presidential campaign. Then VP Bush went after Democrat Dukakis for, as governor of Massachusetts, vetoing a bill that'd have fined public school teachers for not leading the class in the pledge. The House Republicans (in the minority) proposed doing the pledge and the Democrats went along with it.
And finally, there is a most patriotic criminal! Back on July 4, 2012, this Florida guy got arrested for selling Xanax at a nightclub. His mugshot hit the interwebs and instant fame!