Fact Check

Fly the Flag on September 11

E-mail exhorts Americans to fly the U.S. flag on September 11, 2009

Published Sep 6, 2006

Claim:   Message exhorts Americans to fly the U.S. flag on Friday, September 11, 2009.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, September 2009]

We have a little less than one month and counting to get the word out all across this great land and into every community in the United States of America.

If you forward this email to least 11 people and each of those people do the same ... you get the idea.


On Friday, September 11th, 2009, an American flag should be displayed outside every home, apartment, office, and store in the United States. Every individual should make it their duty to display an American flag on this eighth anniversary of one of our country's worst tragedies. We do this to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11, their families, friends and loved ones who continue to endure the pain, and those who today are fighting at home and abroad to preserve our cherished freedoms.

In the days, weeks and months following 9/11, our country was bathed in American flags as citizens mourned the incredible losses and stood shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism. Sadly, those flags have all but disappeared. Our patriotism pulled us through some tough times and it shouldn't take another attack to galvanize us in solidarity. Our American flag is the fabric of our country and together we can prevail over terrorism of all kinds

So, here's what we need you to do .

(1) Forward this email to everyone you know (at least 11 people). Please don't be the one to break this chain. Take a moment to think back to how you felt on 9/11 and let those sentiments guide you.

(2) Fly an American flag of any size on 9/11. Honestly, Americans should fly the flag year-round, but if you don't, then at least make it a priority on this day.

Thank you for your participation. God Bless You and God Bless America!


Origins:   The example cited above is an updating of an item we first saw back in 2005 and again in 2006 and 2008, the text largely unchanged from those earlier versions.

Although this exhortation for all Americans to fly their flags on the eighth anniversary of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. is technically neither true nor false (because everyone is free to participate or not), it is the case that every year since 2001, when Congress designated

September 11 as Patriot Day (a discretionary day of remembrance in honor of those who lost their lives on 9/11), President George W. Bush issued a proclamation calling upon government officials and the people of the United States to observe the day by displaying the flag of the United States.

President Barack Obama has issued a similar proclamation for 2009, calling upon "all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States" to display the flag at half-staff on Patriot Day, and on the people of the United States to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 A.M. (EDT) "to honor the innocent victims who perished as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001."

Last updated:   10 September 2009

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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