It is not a myth that many learned and progressive jurists and politicians, as well as lesser elites, routinely violate the U.S. Constitution, as well as U.S. flag etiquette.
It is a myth that regulations concerning the U.S. flag are part of the Constitution.
Uses of the U.S. flag (quaintly called Old Glory) are governed by the U.S. Flag Code, violations of which are not unlawful, merely violations of etiquette, which show disrespect toward a country named the United States of America.
As always, readers are urged to look it up.
It is likely that average Americans are as ignorant of flag etiquette as they are of the Constitution.
Some Flag Code analysts say that what matters most is the intent behind the use of the flag.
So, when a professional football player refuses to stand during the playing of the National Anthem, he is not being unlawful, but his act is taken as a protest against both the flag and the country.
Some intellectuals even say that the half-black 6 feet, 6 inches tall San Francisco quarterback was not being unpatriotic, that he was only protesting terms of his six-year, $114 million contract, plus a $12 million signing bonus, signed last year, which some say is higher than that the pay of ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, who is white and only five-feet, four inches tall.
Violations of flag etiquette were much in evidence during the summer Olympics in Brazil, when athletes wrapped themselves in a U.S. flag or wore its image on a piece of clothing more so than in the past.
The year 2016 was also a four-year election cycle, always good for rampant flag-waving, and thus violations.
The two national conventions were rampant with flags, some even flowing over the ramparts. Democrats were subjected to scorn when they opened their convention flag-less, but they more than made up the second day. Shrillest was actress Meryl Streep, who spoke clad in a blouse displaying a U.S. flag.
If you saved film of the conventions, you can look it up. Otherwise, you’ll have to take the word of one of my researchers, thoroughly unreliable and untrustworthy adviser Alberti Rusfus Peonile (ARP), based in Outer Walla Walla Walla, Oregon.
Car salesmen can be counted on to always be pseudo-patriotic, and were especially so after Arabs used airliners as military missiles in 2001, wearing flags during sales pitches suggesting that people weren’t being patriotic, and maybe even supported terrorism, if they didn’t test drive and buy a lemon.
Likewise, evangelists on Sunday TV shows wore Old Glory, sometimes in whole cloth, while imploring watchers to make a down-payment on salvation.
Some other little known flag truths or myths readers you might want to look up:
• Flag etiquette requires that a U.S. flag be illuminated at night, unless it’s made in Thailand from all-weather material.
• Half-staff applies to a flag flying on land; half-mast when flying underwater on a navy submarine. Special permission may be granted a Russian sub.
• On Ground Hog Day, the flag should be flown from sunrise to sunset.
• The model for the U.S. Flag was sewn by Betsy Ross-Franklin, third wife of Bennie Franklin. Her idea for the stars came from her husband’s account of being shocked by lightning while flying a kite.
• When flown in the U.S. the flag should be above other flags, except at the U.N. building and when flown with the Mexican and Keynan flags.
• Burning the U.S. flag is not unlawful, as long as not set afire within 500 feet of a federally-protected woodland or, on Sundays, a house of religion.
L. E. Brown Jr. is an independent writer based in Magnolia, N.C. and a former staff writer for The Sampson Independent. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.