First Hemp Flag in 80 Years to Fly over US Capitol on 4th of July

WASHINGTON, DC — The flag flying over the US Capitol building on the 4th of July will be made of hemp, and it is believed to be the first time since the 1930′s that a flag made out of hemp has flown over the capitol building.

The flag will fly over the building for one day, the Fourth of July, before it is taken to Colorado to fly over the state Capitol building, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Colorado pro-hemp advocate Michael Bowman came up with the idea while he was lobbying Congress to include hemp measures in the farm bill, the Post said.

The legislation failed, but with help from Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), who worked with the Capitol’s flag office to arrange for the flag to be flown, the hemp flag idea was successful. Under the Capitol’s flag program, which sells the flags flown over the building, a new flag is flown almost every day.

“It’s a powerful symbol,” Bowman told the Post, adding that flying the hemp flag on America’s birthday was appropriate.

After the flag’s one day cameo over the US capitol, it will fly over the Colorado state capitol in Denver before it is sent out on a tour of state houses in states where there’s legislation pending — or already passed — that would legalize industrial hemp cultivation.

The first flag created by Betsy Ross was made of hemp,  a distinct variety of cannabis that contains only minute (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Farmers worldwide grow hemp commercially for fiber, seed, and oil for use in a variety of industrial and consumer products, including food and clothing. The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to the Congressional Resource Service.

Over thirty countries produce industrial hemp, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey and Ukraine.

The world’s leader in hemp production is China.

First Hemp Flag in 80 Years to Fly over US Capitol on 4th of July was written by and appears in full on The Daily Chronic.

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