DENVER (TheBlaze/AP) — An American flag made of industrial hemp will fly over the U.S. Capitol on Independence Day.
Democratic Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado announced Wednesday that his request for the hemp-made flag was granted.
Polis has long pushed for the plant to be legal for farmers to grow. Industrial hemp looks much like marijuana but does not have its psychoactive properties. Federal law prohibits growing hemp, but not importing it.
Historians say the first American flags were made of hemp, which was raised by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
Polis successfully amended the federal farm bill last month to allow farmers to raise industrial hemp. However, the farm bill ultimately failed.
“The first American flag was made of hemp. The US Department of Agriculture produced a ‘Hemp for Victory’ video in 1942. And today, I am proud that an American flag made of hemp will fly over our Capitol on the anniversary of our nation’s birth,” Polis said in a statement.
Reps. Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Earl Blumenauer of Oregon also sponsored the hemp farm bill amendment.
“This gesture serves to remind Americans of the historical significance of industrial hemp in our nation’s heritage as well as the important role it can play in America’s economic future,” Rep. Massie said in a statement about the hemp flag. “Industrial hemp is used for hundreds of products including paper, clothing, rope and be converted into renewable bio-fuels more efficiently than corn or switch grass. It is our goal that the research our amendment enables would further broadcast the economic benefits of the sustainable and job-creating crop.”
Watch this report from WTTG-TV about the hemp flag: