Hemp Flag Flies High on The Fourth of July

CANNABIS CULTURE – The use of hemp was prevalent in the days of America’s founding fathers. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, among others, grew hemp. Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag out of hemp. Centuries later, this Fourth of July, a hemp flag flies over America once more.

The hemp flag make its debut above the United States Capital building, in Washington, D.C., on the Fourth of July.

Americans may think of hemp as taboo and not a patriotic crop; however, the use of hemp was relied upon and thoroughly entwined in American history.

Hemp was once the most valuable crop in America. It was legal to pay taxes with hemp until the early 1800s. In fact, refusing to grow hemp in America during the 17th and 18th centuries was against the law! For a brief period in the late 1700s, American citizens in Virginia could be jailed for refusing to grow hemp – quite the opposite of the current political climate surrounding hemp.

In the late 1930s, after alcohol prohibition was repealed, the use of hemp began to steadily decline (around the time of anti-marijuana propaganda film Reefer Madness was released).

According to congressional testimony by the Sherman Williams Paint Company, regarding the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act, 58,000 tons of hemp seeds were utilized in 1935, for paint products in America.

In 1942, the United States Department of Agriculture produced a film entitled, Hemp for Victory.

Michael Bowman, a hemp advocate from Colorado, thinks it’s high time the use of hemp was re-integrated into American society. Bowman, who brought the idea of flying a hemp flag to fruition, is also credited, according to Emily Heil of the Washington Post, with previously, albeit unsuccessfully, lobbying Congress to include pro-hemp measures in the farm bill. Hey, it sure beats planting genetically modified corn!

Bowman’s plan for the hemp flag to get high was accomplished with a little help from his friend, Colorado Representative Jared Polis.

Bowman’s banner is constructed from hemp that was grown in the marijuana-tolerant state of Colorado. While this hemp flag is technically THC-free (i.e. you can’t smoke it), the association is a given.

For Bowman, flying a flag made entirely from hemp, streaming over the Capitol Building on Independence Day, is considered “symbolic” and poetic justice by many marijuana advocates.

Here’s to Hemp Independence this Fourth of July. George Washington and Betsy Ross would be proud.



  1. Anonymous UK on

    It must feel like the last days of the Roman empire to some people in Washington (DC). That said they will probably try the most desperate measures now. People have invested their lives and reputations in the persecution of marijuana and anyone associated with it – those people will not go quietly.

    Great symbolism !!

  2. Mrs. Ratsrectum on

    Instead of the stars shape, use cannabis leaves: 50 cannabis leaves instead of 50 stars.

    Someday in the future, not today, we’re not there yet.

    Today use little green cannabis leaves inside the stars of states that have legalized MMJ or adult recreational use. Top to bottom, left to right, upper left is 1st state to join the Union and so on, is our current scatter plot of the End of Cannabis Prohibition.

    Let’s fill up that flag, star after star!

    Great graphic! There you go, MSNBC, All In (little ha-ha in the title) or RMS or whoever and whatever cool variations, except no dominoes, please.