Why won’t Team USA dip the flag at the Opening Ceremonies?

In the history of Olympic games for the past 110 years, the USA is the only participating nation that refuses to dip its flag when passing the host country during the opening ceremonies. According to the Olympic tradition, every nation’s team during the Olympic opening ceremony parades in behind one member who holds the country’s flag. The governing officials of the host country watch the event through the stands. As the team marches past this section, as a sign of respect the flag bearer lowers its national flag.

Team USA at olympics
Why won’t Team USA dip the flag at the Opening Ceremonies

Except for the United States, each nation dips its flag, however, the US for the first time disregarded the tradition at the 1908 London Olympic Games. At the 1908 Olympic games, U.S. flag bearer, shotputter Ralph Rose, kept the flag erect as an act of nationalism proclaiming, “The flag dips to no earthly king.” However according to the Penn State professor, Mark Dyreson, the Irish- American athlete’s action to refuse flag dip was more about contempt for the British.

Also See: List of people who have opened the Olympic Games

It was in the year 1936, then King Gustav V received a dipped flag in the 1912 Games, however in the 1936 games, the US didn’t participate in the Berlin Olympics and the only reason was to disrespect Adolf Hitler.

Other participating countries India, Bulgaria, and Iceland, supported the U.S in the decision not to dip the flag. Later on, in 1940, the tradition to not the flag got formalized in the flag code, which reads, “the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing.” So if any nation didn’t dip flag, it’s not pride, it’s not arrogance, it’s not nationalism, it just disregards Hitler.

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