The “high-flying” American flag atop the U.S. Capitol building on the Fourth of July will for the first time in decades be made of hemp, as was the very first flag created by Betsy Ross.
This being the result of efforts by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), who arranged for the flag to be among those used for the day — because of the large number of requests to fly flags over the Capitol, it will only fly for a few hours and then be taken down.
Hemp is the industrial name for the fiber of the marijuana plant, which can be used to make textiles like rope and cloth. While hemp does not contain enough psychoactive THC to produce a high, it’s a federal crime to grow it domestically.
That the original American flag was made of hemp is a little known fact touted by those who seek to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Rep. Polis has long pushed for a reclassification of cannabis, which includes both marijuana and hemp, according to the Daily Caller.
Some advocates even claim that the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper, but that’s an urban legend. It was written on parchment, which is treated animal skin, typically sheepskin.
As the Washington Post reported, Colorado hemp advocate Michael Bowman came up with the idea to fly the hemp flag while lobbying Congress to include pro-hemp measures in this year’s farm bill.
Bowman provided the flag to be flown today, made from Colorado-raised hemp and screen-printed with the stars and stripes, and plans to send it out on a tour of state houses in states where there’s legislation pending that would legalize hemp, the Post noted.
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