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The Flags on Main Street U.S.A. Are Props

Photograph by JTOcchialini. Shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Walk on to Main Street U.S.A. at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and you will start to wonder: “With all these American flags, how on earth does Disney manage to respect the U.S. Flag Code?”

The short answer is: Disney doesn’t. Because, with a couple of exceptions, most of the flags at the Magic Kingdom are fakes.

If you look closely, you’ll notice that these prop flags (technically, “pennants”) not only lack the requisite thirteen stripes, but are missing a few stars, too. As a result, they are exempt from the usual rules, which means that they do not need to be taken inside when the weather is bad, they do not need to be illuminated at night, and they do not need to fly at half-staff when the president or the Governor of Florida issues an order.

Disney World does have some real American flags. In fact, every day since it opened back in 1971, the Magic Kingdom has staged a a flag-lowering ceremony in Town Square. But the ones you see sprinkled around like candy? Fake as a three-dollar bill.

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