6 Things You Never Knew About The American Flag

american flag

The American flag is one of the most recognized flags, yet even U.S. citizens don’t know everything about this patriotic symbol. We hang them outside our doors, wear them on our shirts, and have them inked on our skin, but did our founding fathers have that in mind when the flag was first designed? Probably not. Here are a few things you never knew about the American flag.

The Flag Can’t Be Used As A Uniform

American Flag

It should come as no surprise that the American flag can’t be used for athletic uniforms. Federal law states, “No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform.” Instead, the flag can be put on a patch which can then be attached to the uniform. Seems like a reasonable compromise.

The Flag Should Never Be Worn

American Flag

That’s right. You and your patriotic friends who love to wear the American flag on your shirts, shorts, bathing suits, etc. are actually being disrespectful according to federal laws. The law, which states, “The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery” was written a hundred years ago, but it was updated in 2008. So, I guess you can say it has been modernized.

The Flag Is Considered Alive

American Flag

Apparently, the American flag is alive. According to federal law, “The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.” For this reason, any lapel depicting the flag should be worn on the left side, close to the heart. Maybe the flag needs to feed off of our beating hearts.

The Flag Can’t Be Printed On Anything Disposable

American Flag

The American flag should be honored and respected, and should never be printed on anything disposable. This pretty much includes all of the decorations and cutlery at every summer BBQ ever. Oh, and toilet paper. Federal law states the flag shouldn’t be “printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.” Imagine the Fourth of July without eating a hot dog off of a paper plate with the American flag printed on it! What a disaster that would be!

The Flag Shouldn’t Be Used In Ads

American Flag

Yes, we all love America. Well, most of us do. But using our country’s flag in an advertisement is strictly forbidden according to federal law. It reads, “The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner

The Flag Should Be Burned

American Flag

While burning the flag has been known as an incredibly disrespectful action in the past, it’s actually the preferred method to discard it. Seen as a form of protest, burning the American flag is required when it has gotten old or damaged. According to federal law, “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” Who knew! However, the act should be completely silent, and the soiled old flag should be honored for the life it has had. Because, remember, the flag is considered a living thing.


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Rose Burke

Freelance writer and art enthusiast, Rose Burke, often writes humorous essays inspired by awkward dating experiences and life’s cruel sense of humor. When she's not doing that, she's typically writing entertainment articles on women's issues, politics, feminism, and other trending topics her readers love. Her work has been published in The Southampton Review, The Conium Review, The Richest, The Independent, CINEMABLEND, and more. Author of the popular feminist blog series "Writings of the Satirical Feminista," Rose is currently focusing on a collection of humorous personal essays while she travels the world.


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