In the first 57 years of American History, the only flags that had fringe were Military Battle Flags and Military Regimental Colors. The US Army did not even begin carrying the Stars and Stripes into Battle until 1834. Prior to that date, US Army Units carried only Military Flags (such as General Schuyler's Flag), made up of either a plain blue or white flag, or Red and White alternating stripes; with a union bearing the US Coat of Arms or a Regimental designation, on either a white or blue field; and a red or yellow fringe bordering on three sides.
But, by the time of the Civil War, Army Regulation required that each Infantry Regiment carry two Flags; by military definition a National Color and a Regimental Color. According to Civil War Era Army Regulations; "Each regiment of Infantry shall have two silken colors. The first, or the national color, of stars and stripes, as described for the garrison flag; the number and name of the regiment to be embroidered with silver on the center stripe. The second, or regimental color, was to be blue, with the arms of the United States embroidered in silk on the center, with the name of the regiment in a scroll, underneath the eagle. The size of each color was to be six feet six inches fly, and six feet deep on the pike. The length of the pike, including the spear and ferrule, was to be nine feet ten inches. The fringe was to be yellow; the cords and tassels, blue and white silk intermixed".
38th Illinois Infantry National Colors
12th PA Cavalry Regimental Colors
The practice of placing yellow fringe around three sides of the Flag has survived to this very day. The National Flag of the United States, the 'Stars and Stripes', is often decorated with yellow fringe around three sides. These yellow fringed 'Stars and Stripes' can be found in State and Federal Courts, Municipal Buildings, and Schools throughout America.
The 'Law of Admiralty' Flag
There are those who believe that the Yellow Fringed Flag is a 'Law of Admiralty' Flag. This is mere myth. The truth is, admiralty is limited to only certain, very specific cases.
Exactly what is 'Admiralty and Maritime Jurisdiction'
According to the United States Constitution, Article 3, Section 2, Clause 1: "The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; to all Cases of Admiralty and Maritime Jurisdiction; to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party; to Controversies between two or more States; between a State and Citizens of another State; between Citizens of different States, between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects".
What is Admiralty: "The name of a jurisdiction which takes cognizance of suits or actions which arise in consequence of acts done upon or relating to the sea; or, in other words, of all transactions and proceedings relative to commerce and navigation, and to damages or injuries upon the sea. In the great maritime nations of Europe, the term 'admiralty jurisdiction,' is, uniformly applied to courts exercising jurisdiction over maritime contracts and concerns. It is as familiarly known among the jurists of Scotland, France, Holland and Spain, as of England, and applied to their own courts, possessing substantially the same jurisdiction as the English Admiralty had in the reign of Edward III.
The Constitution of the United States has delegated to the courts of the national government cognizance 'of all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;' and the act of September 24, 1789, has given the district court 'cognizance of all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction,' including all seizures under laws of imposts, navigation or trade of the United States, where the seizures are made on waters navigable from the sea, by vessels of ten or more tons burden, within their respective districts, as well as upon the high seas" - From: http://www.lectlaw.com/def/a158.htm
What would be considered "Maritime Jurisdiction"? Look to US Code, Title 18.
USC - Title 18 - Part I - Chapter 1 - Section 7: Special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States defined:
The term ''special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States'', as used in this title, includes:
(1) The high seas, any other waters within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States and out of the jurisdiction of any particular State, and any vessel belonging in whole or in part to the United States or any citizen thereof, or to any corporation created by or under the laws of the United States, or of any State, Territory, District, or possession thereof, when such vessel is within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States and out of the jurisdiction of any particular State.
(2) Any vessel registered, licensed, or enrolled under the laws of the United States, and being on a voyage upon the waters of any of the Great Lakes, or any of the waters connecting them, or upon the Saint Lawrence River where the same constitutes the International Boundary Line.
(3) Any lands reserved or acquired for the use of the United States, and under the exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction thereof, or any place purchased or otherwise acquired by the United States by consent of the legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the erection of a fort, magazine, arsenal, dockyard, or other needful building.
(4) Any island, rock, or key containing deposits of guano, which may, at the discretion of the President, be considered as appertaining to the United States.
(5) Any aircraft belonging in whole or in part to the United States, or any citizen thereof, or to any corporation created by or under the laws of the United States, or any State, Territory, district, or possession thereof, while such aircraft is in flight over the high seas, or over any other waters within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States and out of the jurisdiction of any particular State.
(6) Any vehicle used or designed for flight or navigation in space and on the registry of the United States pursuant to the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies and the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space, while that vehicle is in flight, which is from the moment when all external doors are closed on Earth following embarkation until the moment when one such door is opened on Earth for disembarkation or in the case of a forced landing, until the competent authorities take over the responsibility for the vehicle and for persons and property aboard.
(7) Any place outside the jurisdiction of any nation with respect to an offense by or against a national of the United States.
(8) To the extent permitted by international law, any foreign vessel during a voyage having a scheduled departure from or arrival in the United States with respect to an offense committed by or against a national of the United States.
Justice Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States - Article 3, Section 2, Clause 1 - 1833: "The jurisdiction claimed by the courts of admiralty, as properly belonging to them, extends to all acts and torts done upon the high seas, and within the ebb and flow of the sea, and to all maritime contracts, that is, to all contracts touching trade, navigation, or business upon the sea, or the waters of the sea within the ebb and flow of the tide.... The admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, (and the word, 'maritime,' was doubtless added to guard against any narrow interpretation of the preceding word, 'admiralty,') conferred by the constitution, embraces two great classes of cases; one dependent upon locality, and the other upon the nature of the contract. The first respects acts or injuries done upon the high seas, where all nations claim a common right and common jurisdiction; or acts, or injuries done upon the coast of the sea; or, at farthest, acts and injuries done within the ebb and flow of the tide. The second respects contracts, claims, and services purely maritime, and touching rights and duties appertaining to commerce and navigation. The former is again divisible into two great branches, one embracing captures, and questions of prize arising jure belli; the other embracing acts, torts, and injuries strictly of civil cognizance, independent of belligerent operations.... The same reasoning, which conducts us to the conclusion, that the national courts ought to have jurisdiction of this class of admiralty cases, conducts us equally to the conclusion, that, to be effectual for the administration of international justice, it ought to be exclusive. And accordingly it has been constantly held, that this jurisdiction is exclusive in the courts of the United States.... The other branch of admiralty jurisdiction, dependent upon locality, respects civil acts, torts, and injuries done on the sea, or (in certain cases) on waters of the sea, where the tide ebbs and flows, without any claim of exercising the rights of war. Such are cases of assaults, and other personal injuries; cases of collision, or running of ships against each other; cases of spoliation and damage, (as they are technically called,) such as illegal seizures, or depredations upon property; cases of illegal dispossession, or withholding possession from the owners of ships, commonly called possessory suits; cases of seizures under municipal authority for supposed breaches of revenue, or other prohibitory laws; and cases of salvage for meritorious services performed in saving property, whether derelict, or wrecked, or captured, or otherwise in imminent hazard from extraordinary perils..." - From: http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a3_2_1s87.html
To Understand What Type of Case Should Fall Under the Admiralty and Maritime Jurisdiction, Go To: http://home.myfairpoint.net/vzeo1z2a/Admiralty.htm
Citing Court Cases, Statutes and Codes
One 'Law of Admiralty' Flag web site claims that: "The main problem I have with the yellow fringe is that by its use our Constitutional Republic is no more. The American people were allowed to believe this was just a decoration. Because the law changed from Common Law (God's Law) to Admiralty Law (the kings law) your status also changed from sovereign to subject". They reference several Court Cases, Statutes and Codes in an attempt to make their case. But when you go and actually check these Court Cases, Statutes and Codes for yourself, you will see that they are not only wrong, but way off the mark! Lets look at a few of their claims, and compare them to the codes and statutes cited.
Many of those sites purporting the Admiralty theory use this quote from the Supreme Court Case 'Jackson v. Steamboat Magnolia': "And all the way back, before the U.S. Constitution John Adams talking about his state's (Massachusetts) Constitution, said: Next to revenue (taxes) itself, the late extensions of the jurisdiction of the admiralty are our greatest grievance. The American Courts of Admiralty seem to be forming by degrees into a system that is to overturn our Constitution and to deprive us of our best inheritance, the laws of the land. It would be thought in England a dangerous innovation if the trial, of any matter on land was given to the admiralty -- Jackson v. Magnolia, 20 How. 296 (U.S. 1852)".
But, that is not the exact Quote From 'Jackson v. The Magnolia'! Changing Quotes and/or leaving out relevant information is a tactic often used by these web sites, in order to make their assertions appear correct! The Quote from 'Jackson v. The Magnolia' actually reads: "In 1768, John Adams, the Coke of the Revolution, prepared for the citizens of Boston instructions to their representatives, Otis, Cushing, Samuel Adams, and Hancock. The citizens said to their representatives, that, 'next to the revenue itself, the late extensions of the jurisdiction of the admiralty are our greatest grievance. The American courts of admiralty seem to be forming by degrees into a system that is to overturn our constitution, and to deprive us of our best inheritance, the laws of the land. It would be thought in England a dangerous innovation, if the trial of any matter on land was given to the admiralty.' (A bit different, would't you agree? The quote then continues): They refer to the statutes passed in the reign of George III, and declare that they violate Magna Charta; and they conclude by an earnest recommendation to their representatives, 'by every legal measure to endeavor that the power of these courts may be confined to their proper element, according the ancient English statutes; and that they petition and remonstrate against the late extensions of their jurisdictions, and they doubt not that the other colonies and provinces, who suffer with them, will cheerfully harmonize with them in any justifiable measures of redress.' Other testimony of the same kind might be adduced, to show what the opinions of the colonists were, as to the legitimate extent of the admiralty jurisdiction in the colonies. The journals of the First Congress (1774) render this unnecessary. They are replete with proof of the pervading sentiment in the British colonies. That Congress declare that 'the respective colonies are entitled to the common law of England, and to the benefit of such English statutes as existed at the time of the colonization, which had been found suitable to their situation.' In their address setting forth the cause and necessity for their taking up of arms, they allege that statutes have been passed for extending the jurisdiction of courts of admiralty beyond their ancient limits. In the several addresses to the inhabitants of Great Britain, to the people of the colonies, to the people of Ireland, and to the King, the enlarged authority of those courts, their interference with the common-law right of trial by jury, and their offensive use of the laws and course of proceeding adopted from Roman tyrants, are distinctly reprehended" - Jackson v. The Magnolia - 61 U.S. 296 (1857). To Read the Complete Case, Go To:
As I had suspected, Adams was speaking out against the Admiralty Courts in the Colonies, under the Jurisdiction of England; and NOT the Admiralty Courts under any American System! The Year was 1768. That was 7 years before the start of the Revolution. No independent American Judicial system, nor system of government, had even been established at that time. Therefore, it was NOT the Independant State of Massachusetts, under its 1780 Constitution, that was abusing admiralty jurisdiction, and causing grief to the citizens of Boston! The grievance they had was against England, and its abuse of admiralty jurisdiction over common law , that had the colonists in an uproar in 1768!
Also, the Case is known as either "Jackson v. Steamboat Magnolia", or "Jackson v. The Magnolia", and the Year is 1857, NOT 1852. – See above case address, or:
http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/datesofdecisions.pdf - scroll to page 78 of 190
These kinds of errors do not surprise me, though! I find that it is quite common among the web sites that champion such theories (admiralty, civil flag, ect.) to change quotes, codes, or statutes, in order to suit their needs! It appears that a site will pop up, purporting a theory (like admiralty) and will fill it with misleading information (like the example above), and every page that follows will copy that page, never checking to see if the information is accurate or correct!
It is evident that our Municipal and Superior Courts (Common or 'Land' Courts) are not Admiralty Courts (Maritime or 'Water' Courts); therefore the flag that flies within any Land Court could not possibly be a 'Law of Admiralty' Flag.
The 'Yellow Fringed Flag' Signifies Military Jurisdiction
Then, there are those who believe that if any US Flag bears this yellow fringe around three sides, it then signifies Military Jurisdiction, Rule, or Law. This again is incorrect.
They claim that "The gold-fringed flag only stands inside military courts that sit in summary court martial proceedings against civilians and such courts are governed in part by local rules, but more especially by 'The Manual of Courts Martial'... The flags displayed in State courts and courts of the United States have gold or yellow fringes. That is your WARNING that you are entering into a foreign enclave, the same as if you are stepping into a foreign embassy and you will be under the jurisdiction of that flag. The flag with the gold or yellow fringe has no constitution, no laws, and no rules of court, and is not recognized by any nation on the earth, and is foreign to you and the United States of America". They reference several statutes and codes in an attempt to make their case. But when you go and actually check these statutes and codes for yourself, you will see that they are not only wrong, but way off the mark! Lets look at a few of their claims, and compare them to the codes and statutes cited.
Some of the More Frequent Contentions
"THERE ARE ABSOLUTELY NO PROVISIONS IN THE LAW FOR ADDING A FOURTH COLOR (YELLOW FRINGE) TO THE TITLE 4 U.S.C. 1, 2 FLAG". (That may be so, but there are NO laws or regulations which prohibit the adding of the yellow fringe, either).
"Title 4 U.S.C. 3 provides that anything put on the Title 4 U.S.C. 1, 2 Flag (gold fringe) MUTILATES the Flag, and carries a one-year prison term". This is a lie! U.S.C. Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 3 states: "Any person who, within the District of Columbia, in any manner, for exhibition or display, shall place or cause to be placed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing, or any advertisement of any nature upon any flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America; or shall expose or cause to be exposed to public view any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign upon which shall have been printed, painted, or otherwise placed, or to which shall be attached, appended, affixed, or annexed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, or drawing, or any advertisement of any nature; or who, within the District of Columbia, shall manufacture, sell, expose for sale, or to public view, or give away or have in possession for sale, or to be given away or for use for any purpose, any article or substance being an article of merchandise, or a receptacle for merchandise or article or thing for carrying or transporting merchandise, upon which shall have been printed, painted, attached, or otherwise placed a representation of any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign, to advertise, call attention to, decorate, mark, or distinguish the article or substance on which so placed shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $100 or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or both, in the discretion of the court". So, First off, the penalty applies ONLY to those within the District of Columbia. Second, the penalty is only a misdemeanor, which carries a fine not exceeding $100, or imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or both, at the discretion of the court – see: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/4/3.html
"This is confirmed by the authority of title 36 U.S.C. 176 (G)". This is also incorrect. Title 36, Sections 172 thru 178 have been replaced by Title 4, Chapter 1, Sections 4 thru 10 - see: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/36/index.notes.html
"According to Army Regulations, (AR 840-10, Oct. 1, 1979.) 'the Flag is trimmed on three sides with Fringe of Gold, 2 1/2 inches wide', and that, 'such flags are flown indoors, ONLY in military courtrooms'. And that the Gold Fringed Flag is not to be carried by anyone except units of the United States Army, and the United States Army division associations" [from: http://www.truth-now.com/vonshango/USFlagCodeLibrary.htm]. This is a lie! Again, they have left out quite a bit of the regulations! AR 840-10, Chapter 2, Section 3, Sub-Section B and C states:
"B: National flags listed below are for indoor display and for use in ceremonies and parades. For these purposes, the flag of the United States will be of rayon banner cloth or heavyweight nylon, trimmed on three sides with golden yellow fringe, 2 1/2 inches wide. It will be the same size or larger than other flags displayed or carried at the same time -
(1) Four-foot 4-inch hoist by 5-foot 6-inch fly. This size flag will be displayed with the United States Army flag, organizational flag of Major Army Commands, positional colors (table 1-1), the Corps of Cadets' color, the 1st Battalion, 3d Infantry color, the 4-foot 4-inch by 5-foot 6-inch chapel flag and the individual flag of a General of the Army;
(2) Three-foot hoist by 4-foot fly. This size flag will be displayed with the Army Field flag, distinguishing flags, organizational colors, and institutional flags of the same size. It will also be displayed within the offices listed in c below when no other positional or organizational flags are authorized.
C: Authorization for indoor display. The flag of the United States is authorized for indoor display for each--
(1) Office, headquarters, and organization authorized a positional color, distinguishing flag, or organizational color;
(2) Organization of battalion size or larger, temporary or permanent, not otherwise authorized a flag of the United States;
(3) Military offices not otherwise authorized an indoor flag of the United States, for the purpose of administering oaths of office;
(4) Military courtroom;
(5) U.S. Army element of joint commands, military groups, and missions. One flag is authorized for any one headquarters operating in a dual capacity;
(6) Subordinate element of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command;
(7) ROTC unit;
(8) Senior Executive Service (SES) employee for permanent retention".
As you can clearly see, their use of the words "Only in military courtrooms" is a lie! There are EIGHT seperate catagories of places where the flag can fly! Go To: http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/xml_pubs/r840_10/main.xml
- and scroll down to Chapter 2.
"The gold fringe is the fourth color and represents 'color of law' , and, when placed on the title 4 U.S.C. 1,2 Flag, mutilates the Flag and suspends the organic Constitution for the United States of America, and establishes 'color of law' (Refer to title 18 U.S.C. 242)". This is the most ridiculous argument yet! 18 U.S.C. Section 242 states in part: "Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States... shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death…" - http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/242.html . Rather than suspend the Constitution, what Section 242 does, is punish any person who, while acting or purporting to act in the performance of official duties under any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, attempts to deprive or deprives another individual of any of the Rights, Privileges, and/or Immunities which are Secured and Protected by the Constitution and/or Laws of the United States. So 242 actually PROTECTS peoples Rights, it does not suspend them, or take them away! What does the term "Under Color of Law" mean? "Under Color of Law: When a person acts or purports to act in the performance of official duties under any law, ordinance, or regulation" - From the: "Lectric Law Library's Lexicon" at: http://www.lectlaw.com/def2/u001.htm
"As provided by title 36 U.S.C. 173, and Army Regulation 840-10, chapter 2-1(b), the Flag of the united States of America is defined and described in title 4 U.S.C. 1,2. Civilians must use the title 4 U.S.C. 1, 2 Flag (see title 36 U.S.C. 173 + Army Regulation 840-10, chapter 2-7)". Again, Title 36, Sections 172 thru 178 have been replaced by Title 4, Chapter 1, Sections 4 thru 10. Next, if you read AR 840-10, Chapter 1, Section 1, it states: "Purpose - This regulation prescribes the design, acquisition, display, disposition, and use of flags, guidons, streamers, automobile and aircraft plates, and tabards by Department of the Army (DA) organizations and personnel. It is the authority for these items and their basis of issue. It also describes the flags used by the President, Vice President, officials of the Department of Defense (DOD), and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff". In other words, the flag regulations set forth in AR 840-10 apply only to the Army and Army Personnel.
As shown above, Army Regulation 840-10, Chapter 2, Section 3 states: "Sizes and occasions for display - Sub-Section B: National flags listed below are for indoor display and for use in ceremonies and parades. For these purposes, the flag of the United States will be of rayon banner cloth or heavyweight nylon, trimmed on three sides with golden yellow fringe, 2 1/2 inches wide. It will be the same size or larger than other flags displayed or carried at the same time". There's that nasty phrase "Yellow Fringe". But, if you go down to the bottom of the page, and go to the Glossary, under Terms, it states: "Fringe: A decorative border of short threads, cords, or the like that is used on flags for enrichment only. It is not regarded as an integral part of any flag and its use does not constitute an unauthorized addition to the design prescribed by statutes". There you have it! The Fringe is NOT an integral part of any flag, and its use does not constitute an unauthorized addition to the design prescribed by statutes! See: http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/xml_pubs/r840_10/main.xml
But Army Regulation 260-10 is also often quoted. Army Regulation 260-10 (dating from the 1920's) required troops in the field to fly flags with a yellow silk fringe (AR 260-10 has been repealed and replaced by Army Regulation 840-10). But even if AR 260-10 required yellow fringe, what significance would that hold? In an untitled circular from the Adjutant General of the Army, dated March 28, 1924, the Adjutant General states "The War Department knows of no law which either requires or prohibits the placing of a fringe on the flag of the United States. No Act of Congress or Executive order has been found bearing on the question. In flag manufacture a fringe is not considered to be a part of the flag, and it is without heraldic significance. In the common use of the word it is a fringe and not a border. Ancient custom sanctions the use of fringe on the regimental colors and standards, but there seems to be no good reason or precedent for its use on other flags" (Circular of the Adjutant General of the Army, March 28, 1924). The United States Attorney General concurred, noting that the presence of a fringe on the flag "can not be said to constitute an unauthorized addition to the design prescribed by statute. The President may, however, determine whether the Army or Navy display or remove fringes from their flags or standards" (34 Opinion - Attorney General - 485 + 486 - 1924). So, even if the Army or Navy displays a United States Flags surrounded by yellow fringe, the mere presence of yellow fringe does not necessarily turn every fringed flag into a flag of war. Far from it! In the words of the Adjutant General of the Army "In flag manufacture a fringe is not considered to be a part of the flag, and it is without heraldic significance". In other words, the fringe is nothing more than "a decorative border of short threads, cords, or the like that is used on flags for enrichment only. It is not regarded as an integral part of any flag and its use does not constitute an unauthorized addition to the design prescribed by statutes".
And, as for Army Regulation 840-10 Chapter 2, Section 7, it states: ""Use and display by civilians: Use and display of the U.S. flag by civilians, civilian groups, and organizations are governed by 36 USC 173. Civilians who inquire about the display of the U.S. flag should be referred to this statute. They should also be advised to consult the Attorney General of the State in which they reside or operate for information concerning State laws that apply to the U.S. flag". Remember, Title 36, Sections 172 thru 178 have been replaced by Title 4, Chapter 1, Sections 4 thru 10". These sections are;
Section 4: Pledge of allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery,
Section 5: Display and use of flag by civilians; codification of rules and customs; definition,
Section 6: Time and occasions for display,
Section 7: Position and manner of display,
Section 8: Respect for flag,
Section 9: Conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing of flag,
Section 10: Modification of rules and customs by President.
Of all sections, Section Five is most relevant:
Section 5 - Display and use of flag by civilians; codification of rules and customs; definition: "The following codification of existing rules and customs pertaining to the display and use of the flag of the United States of America is established for the use of such civilians or civilian groups or organizations as may not be required to conform with regulations promulgated by one or more executive departments of the Government of the United States. The flag of the United States for the purpose of this chapter shall be defined according to sections 1 and 2 of this title and Executive Order 10834 issued pursuant thereto". What this states is that the rules in sections 4-10 are for civilians, because civilians are not bound by the rules as set forth by the President, for the Executive Departments. And what are the rules set forth for the "Executive Departments"? They would be found in Executive Order No. 10834, dated August 21, 1959. http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/xml_pubs/r840_10/main.xml
"A military flag is a flag that resembles the regular flag of the United States, except it has a yellow fringe border on three sides (See the Federal Register, at 24 F.R. 6865, 4 U.S.C. 1, sections1, 2, 3, and Executive Order 10834)". The Federal Register is a publication of Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government. The often quoted '24 F.R. 6865' is nothing more than Page 6865 of Volume 24 of the Federal Register. And what is on Page 6865 of Volume 24 of the Federal Register? The published record of Executive Order No. 10834. And what does Executive Order No. 10834 state? The most relevant parts are: "WHEREAS the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (63 Stat. 377), as amended [see Short Title note under section 471 of Title 40, Public Buildings, Property, and Works] authorizes the President to prescribe policies and directives governing the procurement and utilization of property executive agencies; WHEREAS the interests of the Government require that orderly and reasonable provision be made for various matters pertaining to the flag and that appropriate regulations governing the procurement and utilization of national flags and union jacks by executive agencies; be prescribed: NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States and as Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the United States, and the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended [see Short Title note under section 471 of Title 40, Public Buildings, Property, and Works], it is hereby ordered as follows: Part I - Design of the Flag - Section 1: The flag of the United States shall have thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white, and a union consisting of white stars on a field of blue. Part II - Regulations Governing Executive Agencies: Section 21: The following sizes of flags are authorized for executive agencies;.. Section 32: As used in this order, the term executive agencies means the executive departments and independent establishments in the executive branch of the Government, including wholly-owned Government corporations". In other words, EO 10834 covers the policies and directives that affect "Executive Agencies". And what are Executive Agencies? Executive Agencies are executive departments and independent establishments in the executive branch of the Government. Therefore, as clearly stated in EO 10834, this executive order is for those mentioned executive departments, and in no way affects, nor is it binding on the civilian population. Besides, nowhere in EO 10834 does it mention the phrase 'yellow fringe". SEE: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/4/1.notes.html
+ Short Title Notes, Section 471, Subchapter 1, Chapter 10, of Title 40, Public Buildings, Property, and Works; http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/40/471.notes.html
Neither does Title 4 Chapter 1, Sections 1 and 2 of the United States Code ever mention the phrase "yellow fringe". U.S.C. Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 1 states: "The flag of the United States shall be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; and the union of the flag shall be forty-eight stars, white in a blue field" : http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/4/1.html
U.S.C. Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 2 states: "On the admission of a new State into the Union one star shall be added to the union of the flag; and such addition shall take effect on the fourth day of July then next succeeding such admission" : http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/4/2.html
I can find no compelling evidence in the above referenced codes and stautes to suggest that the mere placing of yellow or gold fringe around the National Flag of the United States will somehow change that flag, and make it a sign of Military Rule or Jurisdiction!
A District Court Judge Answers Questions
I spent several hours observing the proceedings at the State Superior Court in my County. And Yes, there was a "Yellow Fringed Flag" in the Courtroom. Anyway, several people were being arraigned that morning. I noticed that as each defendant was called forward to answer the charges against them, the Judge, before asking for a plea, would advise each defendant of their Constitutional Rights. Now, if the presence of a "Yellow Fringed Flag" in a Courtroom truly means that the "Constitution and Bill of Rights are Suspended", why then would the Judge advise each defendant of their Constitutional Rights, I wondered? I met informally with the Judge. I asked her why she took the time to advise each defendant of their "Constitutional Rights" before any charges were read and a plea entered. She explained that "Under Article 15 (Right of Accused) of the New Hampshire Bill of Rights (NH State Constitution), and Articles 4, 5, 6, and 8 of the U.S. Bill of Rights (United States Constitution), every Defendant has certain 'Rights' that protect them, like the 'Right to Counsel' and the 'Right against Self Incrimination'; and that the Court is bound to inform each defendant of these Rights before any legal proceedings can take place".
**Article 15 - NH State Constitution - Right of Accused: "No subject shall be held to answer for any crime, or offense, until the same is fully and plainly, substantially and formally, described to him; or be compelled to accuse or furnish evidence against hims elf. Every subject shall have a right to produce all proofs that may be favorable to himself; to meet the witnesses against him face to face, and to be fully heard in his defense, by himself, and counsel. No subject shall be arrested, imprisoned, despoi led, or deprived of his property, immunities, or privileges, put out of the protection of the law, exiled or deprived of his life, liberty, or estate, but by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land; provided that, in any proceeding to commit a p erson acquitted of a criminal charge by reason of insanity, due process shall require that clear and convincing evidence that the person is potentially dangerous to himself or to others and that the person suffers from a mental disorder must be establishe d. Every person held to answer in any crime or offense punishable by deprivation of liberty shall have the right to counsel at the expense of the state if need is shown; this right he is at liberty to waive, but only after the matter has been thoroughly explained by the court".
**Article 4 - U.S. Bill of Rights: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized".
**Article 5 - U.S. Bill of Rights: "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation".
**Article 6 - U.S. Bill of Rights: "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence".
**Article 8 - U.S. Bill of Rights: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted".
I told the Judge that I had noticed there was a "Yellow Fringed Flag" in her Courtroom. I asked her why she continued to recognize a defendant's rights under both the US and NH Constitutions, since the presence of the "Yellow Fringed Flag" was supposed to suspend them, and impose Military Jurisdiction. She immediatly asked where I had heard of such nonsense. I then explained the whole story to her, about the web pages promoting the theory of 'Civil Flag', and the meaning behind the 'Yellow Fringed Flag'; and the article I was working on. The Judge then replied, "I can assure you that the Constitution of the United States is still the Law of the Land! And the New Hampshire State Constitution remains in effect in NH Courtrooms, as well! Your Rights are secure. And, even if for some unheard of reason, the Constitution of the United States were no longer recognized, as long as you were in a Courtroom in the State of New Hampshire, you would still be protected under the New Hampshire Constitution and it's Bill of Rights"! So there you have it! Straight from a District Court Judge!
© 2005 Northwoods
This is a Listing of the Web Pages I visited during my research! Please note, that many of the URL's below are Main Pages (Starting Points), and I visted interior pages at many of them! (Note: These URL's can not be clicked on to open them in a new window. You must highlight, copy, and paste the URL into your Browser's Address Area).
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