In honor of Flag Day today, the Washington Post lists five of the most common myths about the national symbol:
- Betsy Ross made the first one: You’re probably sitting there shaking your head and saying, “Yes, she did!” but there’s no credible historical evidence. The story, which didn’t spring into being until 1870—a century after the first flag was made—is almost certainly a myth. Ross did, however, make American flags.
- You can’t burn it: Flag-burning was illegal until 1989, when the Supreme Court found that burning the flag is actually protected as a form of symbolic speech. Though Congress later passed the Flag Protection Act in response, that law was also overturned in 1990.
- You can wear it: Sure, you can burn the flag, but the US Flag Code doesn't want you using Old Glory "for advertising purposes." But, though it is part of the law of the land, the Flag Code is not actually enforceable.
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