The flag that is known as the Betsy Ross Flag has thirteen white stars on blue background (canton), and the thirteen alternating red and white striped field.
Even though Betsy Ross has been attributed as the seamstress of the official first US Flag, some historians believe this to be more legend than fact. According to some, she never claimed to have designed the first American flag. But she did say that she suggested the five pointed, rather than the six pointed, star design.
Others say that she was the seamstress, including her daughter Rachel Fletcher, who signed a sworn affidavit that states her mother did make the first Star Spangled Banner.
Betsy's grandson - William J. Canby - submitted a paper to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, which included stories he had heard from his Grandmother and other family members.
Mr. Canby said that three men came to her upholstery shop in Philadelphia in June of 1776. These men were: George Washington (who was then head of the Continental Army), George Ross (Betsy's late husband's uncle), and Robert Morris (a wealthy land owner).The men said that they were a committee of Congress, and asked Betsy if she would make a flag from a drawing they had made.
Detractors say that there are no records showing that the Continental Congress had a committee to design the national flag in 1776. The first documented meeting about a national flag didn't happen until the Flag Resolution of 1777. Others say that George Ross was unlikely to be on a Congressional committee because he was not a member of Congress in June, 1776.
The story of Betsy Ross sewing the 1st U.S. flag...
Click here for a printable Betsy Ross flag image.
Betsy Ross Childhood - Born on January 1, 1752, Elizabeth Griscom (Betsy Ross) spent her childhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The parents of Betsy Ross were Samuel and Rebecca (James) Ross. Her father was one of the builders of the bell tower at the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall). Betsy, as she was called, had 16 siblings.
She apprenticed with an upholsterer after she finished school, and eventually opened her own upholstery business with her husband, John Ross. She met him during her time as an apprentice (he was also one). Because Betsy was a Quaker, and John Ross was an Episcopalian, their marriage caused a split between Betsy and her parents, as well as with the Quaker Church.
John Ross was killed during the Revolutionary War, while guarding an ammunition cache. In June of 1777, Betsy Ross married Joseph Ashburn. He was captured by the British and died March of 1782. She was married for the third time in 1783, to John Claypoole. Claypoole died in 1817.
Betsy Ross died on January 30, 1836. She was 84 years old.
You can still visit the Betsy Ross House, the next time you are in Philadelphia! The house is located at 239 Arch Street, right in the heart of historic Philadelphia. They have lots of interactive activities, so it's a great place to visit as a family. They have some special hours and days that they are open, so it's best to check with their website before any visit. Go to betsyrosshouse.org for more information. Or take the Victorian Trolley Sightseeing Tour of Philadelphia, and stop at the Betsy Ross House or any of the 20 historic stops (or all!) on the tour! What a perfect way to enjoy a historic city!
I've partnered with CVSFlags.com to offer a beautiful Betsy Ross flag to one lucky visitor! There are multiple ways to enter our giveaway, but you have to enter to win!
CVSFlags offers a large selection of beautiful flags, made in the USA! I received a large Betsy Ross flag from them, and the quality is suburb. I was very impressed with this flag! The flag features sewn stripes and embroidered stars and measures 3 feet by 5 feet. Perfect for displaying year round or on patriotic holidays!
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