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Flying Over US Capitol on July 4: Hemp Flag

Hemp legalization advocate came up with the idea
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2013 1:35 PM CDT
Flying Over US Capitol on July 4: Hemp Flag
The US Capitol dome backdrops American flags flying at half-staff at the foot of the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

On Independence Day, the flag flying over the Capitol building in DC will be made of hemp. Colorado hemp advocate Michael Bowman came up with the idea, and Rep. Jared Polis, sponsor of a hemp amendment that could help get farmers back into the hemp-growing business, helped Bowman make it a reality. The flags that fly over the Capitol can be purchased, so they are replaced almost every day. This one is thought to be the first made from hemp since the 1930s, when the government first started outlawing it.

Considering that Betsy Ross's flag was hemp; that colonial settlers used the crop to pay taxes and make rope, fabric, paper, and other goods; and that many headed west in wagons covered with hemp canvas, the hemp flag that will fly on the 4th of July is "a powerful symbol," Bowman says. The flag will go from DC to Colorado's state capitol building, then on a tour of other capitol buildings in states considering hemp legalization, the Washington Post reports. (Read more hemp stories.)

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