For the 4th of July, I want to honor Betsy Ross. It took a WOMAN to bring a symbol of this GREAT COUNTRY to fruition. Of all the symbols known around the world, our beautiful flag is more recognized than anything else.
Please visit http://www.ColonialWilliamsburg.com and read “The Truth About Betsy Ross” by Ed Crews. Here is an excerpt from his writings that speaks to who might have made that first American Flag so long ago:
The first hint that she did, however, did not surface nationally until almost a century after America declared independence from England. In 1870, her grandson, William Canby, told her story publicly for the first time, delivering a paper titled “The History of the Flag of the United States” to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. According to Canby, Ross’s involvement with the flag began in 1776, a year before Congress passed its first flag resolution. He wrote:
Sitting sewing in her shop one day with her girls around her, several gentlemen entered. She recognized one of these as the uncle of her deceased husband, Col. George Ross, a delegate from Pennsylvania to Congress. She also knew the handsome form and features of the dignified, yet graceful and polite Commander in Chief, who, while he was yet Colonel Washington had visited her shop both professionally and socially many times, (a friendship caused by her connection with the Ross family) they announced themselves as a committee of congress, and stated that they had been appointed to prepare a flag, and asked her if she thought she could make one, to which she replied, with her usual modesty and self reliance, that “she did not know but she could try; she had never made one but if the pattern were shown to her she had not doubt of her ability to do it.”
The committee produced a conceptual drawing. Seamstress Ross did not like the design and suggested improvements. Washington agreed with her, grabbed a pencil, and revised the drawing. Canby did not know what these changes were with one exception. The drawing showed six-pointed stars; seamstress Ross reportedly wanted five points. The committee members said they took too much effort. Canby wrote:
“Nothing easier” was her prompt reply and folding a piece of paper in the proper manner, with one clip of her ready scissors she quickly displayed to their astonished vision the five pointed star; which accordingly took its place in the national standard.
According to the story, things moved swiftly from there. She made a prototype flag. The committee liked it. Congress approved it. And the Philadelphia seamstress became a flag maker for the fledgling nation. Colonel Ross fronted the operation, supplying a £100 advance for materials. Canby’s tale struck a responsive chord among Americans. They loved Washington’s role in the story as well as Ross’s character—an engaging mix of can-do spirit, common sense, and homespun ability.
By 1873, the Betsy Ross story was appearing in national journals. In 1909, Canby’s brother and nephew published a book, The Evolution of the American Flag. That volume cemented widow Ross’s place in the public mind.
Oh the beautiful Red, White, & Blue. So, get out your flags and show them off. Last time I looked we STILL live in the land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE! And God, please, show your Grace on these, The United States of America! Hugs, Heidi