Olympics in London

Flag of the United States of America

Flag of the United States of America (Photo credit: J. Stephen Conn)

I just happened to be thinking about the Olympics today and a memory hit me, so you get to share.

The 1908 games  (IV Olympiad of the modern games) were held in London in 1908 and were very contentious. The trouble started early and continued all the way through the Marathon. The trouble started when US officials noticed there was no United States flag displayed with the others. Neither was Sweden’s, they stormed out of the stadium.

But all’s well that ends well. A new piece of US flag protocol came out of this contretemps.

U.S. flag bearer and discus champion Martin Sheridan responded by refusing to dip the Stars and Stripes when he passed King Edward VII‘s box in the parade of athletes. “This flag dips to no earthly king, or potentate” Sheridan said. And it hasn’t since.

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