Hemp-made flag flies over the US Capitol

Flying high over the U.S. Capitol, an American flag made with hemp farmed by veterans is raising awareness about drug reform efforts in Washington.

The Growing Warriors Project, which employs disabled veterans who make flags from hemp, coordinated the flag-raising for Veterans Day. The group is behind the push to legalize hemp for farmers.


Advocates are backing the bipartisan Industrial Hemp Farming Act, which would remove hemp from a list of federally prohibited drugs like heroin and LSD. The bill is unlikely to pass, even though it has the support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMaher goes after Manchin: 'Most powerful Republican in the Senate' Supreme Court confounding its partisan critics Why the Democrats need Joe Manchin MORE (R-Ky.).

Farming hemp, which is used to make everything from clothes and paper to soap, could provide jobs for veterans, advocates say, while boosting the economy.

“Hemp was a crop that built our nation,” said Mike Lewis, director of the Growing Warriors Project. “Betsy Ross’ first American flag was made of hemp. We have flags made in China now. That’s almost sacrilegious."

Lewis founded the Growing Warriors Project to give disabled veterans an opportunity to farm hemp. The group plans to produce as many as 200 hemp flags in 2016. 

One of those flags was raised above the Capitol building Wednesday as part of a Veterans Day celebration.