A picture of the 1776 flag flying above the White House has been floating around social media today. Also known as the Betsy Ross flag, some denizens of the internet believe that it signals a revolution against President Biden’s confirmation. The rumour has since been thoroughly debunked, as the photo turns out to be from 2019, not 2021. Still, many people are curious about the meaning of the 1776 flag.
What is the meaning of the 1776 flag?
The 1776 flag is also known as the Betsy Ross Flag. It has 13 stars in a circle alongside red and white stripes.
Betsy Ross was an upholsterer in 18th century Philadelphia, widely credited with making the first American flag. The 13 stars were chosen to represent the 13 colonies that fought for American independence.
The story goes that Betsy Ross was visited by George Washington in 1776 and asked to create the flag. However, it only became the official flag of the U.S on 14 June 1777. The date is still celebrated in the U.S as Flag Day.
The meaning of the 1776 flag has changed over the years. Since its creation, the flag has been adopted by far-right extremest groups, citing the flag’s “heritage”.
Keegan Hankes, research analyst for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has said: “Historically, these symbols have been used by white supremacists, both to hearken back to a time when black people were enslaved, while also painting themselves as the inheritors of the ‘true’ American tradition.”
In recent years, the 1776 flag has been associated with the Patriot Movement, made up primarily of anti-establishment, right-wing protesters.
In 2019, Colin Kapernick spoke out against a new Nike shoe design that featured the 1776 Betsy Ross Flag.
When did the flag fly over the White House?
The photo of the 1776 flag flying over the White House that’s making the rounds on social media today is actually this one, posted by White House deputy chief of staff Daniel Scavino Jr on 2 June 2019.
Rumours spread fast
Donald Trump has recently tweeted about wanting to organise a “big protest” in Washington DC against the confirmation of new president, Joe Biden. It seems that some of Trump’s Twitter followers may have mistakenly correlated the 2019 picture of the flag and this protest tweet.
The 1776 flag is not flying above the White House in 2021. This misinformation was spread by a blogpost by the Hal Turner radio show.
The flag continues to be a source of disagreement among many in society, with some believing it represents American tradition, and others seeing in it a symbol of right-wing agenda.
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