In eastern Kentucky, which is part of Appalachia, there is a project that has been ongoing for a few years. It is called the Kentucky Cloth Project. As a part of the Project, they are growing hemp, creating fabric from that hemp, and, as a project within the larger project, they are weaving American Flags. This project is also supported by an organization called Growing Warriors.
Veterans, many of them disabled, are an important part of this project. They have gathered together with other citizens to create viable opportunities for this very poor region, which allows for people to remain on the land and build a future for their families.
Betsy Ross’ first flag was made from hemp. So were ropes, paper, canvases and many other items of the day. Today, unfortunately, hemp is considered a Class 1 controlled substance, which means that you can’t grow it in this country. A bill was passed in Congress that allows for research projects on hemp growing, and several States have passed State laws allowing for the growing of industrial hemp. It is under these laws that the Growing Warriors and the Kentucky Cloth Project received permission to grow hemp.