The Capitol Flag Program began during the Great Depression when a member of Congress first requested a flag to be flown over the U.S. Capitol. Since then, demand has grown dramatically for these flags. According to the flag's program's website, the Architect of the Capitol handles more than 100,000 flag requests annually.
Today, July 4th, will see a flag like no other flown over the Capitol. This flag is made of hemp, and is flying at the request of the Colorado hemp advocate Michael Bowman. According to Bowman, this is a fitting way for America to celebrate its independence because, after all, Betsy Ross’s flag was made of hemp, and the crop was used as a form of tax payment by early American settlers.