Happy 4th of July! Now take off your shorts.

If you’ve been sporting a pair of shorts or a t-shirt featuring the American flag today to celebrate the 4th of July (why not? A holiday is a holiday, even if it’s not Irish!), then you’ve actually been in breach of the rules set out in “The United States Flag: Federal Law Relating to Display and Associated Questions”. It states:

“The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, RS-7 the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping in front of the platform, and for a decoration in general.”

However, the rule isn’t enforced. Marc Leepson, author of Flag: An American Biography explains:

“It has been part of the U.S. Code … since 1942. But the Flag Code is not enforced, and it’s not enforceable. It’s simply a set of guidelines that carries no penalties for noncompliance; it doesn’t even have enforcement provisions. Think of it as a sort of federally mandated Miss Manners manifesto.”

We wonder how many celebs will be in breach of this code today!