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America has refused the Olympic tradition of dipping its flag to the host country since…. 1908.
Most Olympic teams briefly lower their colors as a sign of respect when they march past the box where the host nation’s leaders are seated. The U.S. does not.
When the Americans pick a flag bearer for the 2012 London Olympics this week, he or she almost certainly will be advised to uphold a tradition that dates back more than a century.
According to popular legend, shotputter Ralph Rose set the tone at the 1908 Summer Games — also held in London — when he supposedly proclaimed: “This flag dips for no earthly king.”
[Photo: Mark Grimmette leads the U.S. team into BC Place for the opening ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Robert Gauthier/LAT]