‘This Flag Dips for No Earthly King’: The Mysterious Origins of an American Myth

  title={‘This Flag Dips for No Earthly King’: The Mysterious Origins of an American Myth},
  journal={The International Journal of the History of Sport},
  pages={142 - 162}
  • Published 1 February 2008
  • Education
  • The International Journal of the History of Sport
American tradition holds that the US team has never dipped the national flag at the Olympics. A powerful mythology dates this quadrennial display of nationalism to the 1908 London Olympics and claims an unbroken streak of unbowed flags at succeeding Olympic parades. The details of this collective memory, however, do not conform neatly to the historical record. At Olympian opening parades between 1908 and 1936 American teams sometimes dipped and at sometimes refused to dip their flags. Not until… 

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