The Patriot's Flag

in Making Patriots

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780226044378
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226044514 | DOI:
The Patriot's Flag

Show Summary Details


This chapter describes the importance of the flag in promoting patriotism in America. After the Declaration of Independence in July 1776, the Continental Congress resolved that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, and that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation, to demonstrate a new and different kind of country. In due course, the governments of the United States and forty-eight of the fifty states enacted statutes forbidding the burning (and, generally, the desecration) of the flag. They saw it as the symbol of this new country, a country dedicated to the principles set down in the Declaration of Independence: liberty, equality of opportunity, and religious toleration. The chapter then demonstrates how the instances of flag-desecration have reduced, with the U.S. Supreme Court judgment in the Johnson case in 1989 revoking the illegality of the act of flag burning.

Keywords: Continental Congress; Patriotism; flag-desecration; Declaration of Independence; U.S. Supreme Court

Chapter.  4578 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.