One of the nuttier things associated with the Sovereign Citizen/ Freemen on the Land crowd, is the notion that an American flag decorated a certain way (fringes, eagle on top, etc.) connotes a special legal jurisdiction (“Admiralty Courts”, etc.) Does anyone know where this particular nugget of trivia originated?
I don’t know if this really gives the answer, but there’s plenty of wacky gold fringe flag “info” here.
Daniel B. Evans’s Tax Protester FAQ has a question (and answer) devoted to this topic: If the flag of the United States that is in the courtroom has a gold fringe, then the court is operating under martial law. There’s also some material and references about the flag fringe theory in Wikipedia’s article on Tax protester conspiracy arguments.
Thanks; that looks like about as “rational” an answer that exists.
Just an FYI: I first heard of this on an episode of Law & Order, I forget which one, the original I think. A nutball defense attorney pointed this out to a judge at arraignment, trying to get the case dismissed. She looked back at the flag, and then said something like, “I don’t care if it has polka dots on it, bail still stands…”