Many Americans gathering to celebrate Independence Day will mark the holiday at Arlington National Cemetery. But for visitors feeling patriotic, there is one item that is banned on the hallowed grounds: a waving American flag.

Earl Granville, a retired Army staff sergeant and veterans advocate who lost his leg in a bombing in Afghanistan, said that he was surprised to learn about the obscure federal law that prohibits visitors from carrying an unfurled U.S. flag at the cemetery.

“There’s absolutely, positively nothing disrespectful whatsoever about carrying the colors to the cemetery where our fallen armed forces are buried,” Granville said.

The law — 38 U.S. Code § 2413 — emerged in 2006 when former U.S. Rep. Mike D. Rogers (R-Mich.) grew angry after watching mourners at a military burial face “chants and taunting and some of the most vile things I have ever heard,” Rogers told the Associated Press at the time.

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