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Betsy Ross Flag: 5 Betsy Ross Flag Facts You Might Not Know and Their History ^ | 1/3/2022 | Sam Jacobs

Posted on 01/03/2022 11:55:15 AM PST by ammodotcom

Second only to Old Glory itself, the Betsy Ross Flag is the American icon. Its clean design is similar to our current flag, with 13 stripes and only 13 stars in a circle (representing the equal status of what were then the 13 united individual sovereign nations). This simplicity is perhaps the reason for its popularity among American Patriots and Constitutionalists, as it hearkens back to an earlier time when America was still a place of freedom and resistance to tyranny.

But while this flag is the oldest attested flag for the American nation, many people don’t know its history. Who was Betsy Ross? And how did this iconic design become one of the strongest symbols of freedom?

TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: 1of; america; betsyross; blogpimp; flag; godsgravesglyphs; pimpmyblog; postandrun; theframers; thegeneral; therevolution; usa
1. Betsy Ross was shunned by Quakers and her family.

A Quaker like many in Pennsylvania, Betsy Ross was born Elizabeth Griscom. Once her education in public school ended, her father had her apprenticed to an upholsterer. It was at this job that she met her future husband, John Ross – an Episcopal and brother of George Ross, who signed the Declaration of Independence. Since the Quaker community frowned upon inter-denominational marriage, the two eloped when Betsy was 21 years old.

After the elopement, Betsy was estranged from her family and expelled from her Quaker congregation. Her husband died a few years later during the American Revolution. (Some have speculated that Betsy was the “beautiful young widow” who caught Carl von Donop’s eye after the Battle of Iron Works Hill.) It was after John Ross’ death that Betsy rejoined the Quakers – this time the Free Quakers, fighters who supported the war effort.

Joseph Ashburn, her second husband with whom she had two daughters, was arrested at sea and died in a British jail awaiting trial for treason. She married a third time and had five daughters, four of whom survived to adulthood.

2. The Betsy Ross Flag might not have been designed by Betsy Ross.

While Betsy Ross may not have designed the flag, legend around her supposed creation will live forever as part of American folklore. The story first started to circulate in popular consciousness around the 1876 centennial Allegedly passed down through the Ross family, Betsy Ross was said to have made the flag at the personal request of George Ross and America’s first president George Washington. An example for patriotic young girls around the time of the centennial, Betsy was given the design by Washington, Ross and another man named Robert Morris. (Morris was an early United States Senator and held a pre-Constitutional office roughly analogous to Secretary of the Treasury.)

Other than the say-so of her distant relatives, there is no evidence supporting Ross’ design and creation of the first American flag. However, much circumstantial evidence against her role includes no records of a flag design committee, no evidence that George Washington even knew who Betsy Ross was, and no mention in letters or diaries that have surfaced from the period. Betsy Ross was paid a significant sum by the Pennsylvania State Navy Board to make flags, but there’s no details about what those flags were.

3. The five-pointed star on the Betsy Ross flag was revolutionary.

Most people think the flag’s innovative design is the combination of stars and stripes – but these had existed in other pre-Constitutional American flags, including the Bennington Flag. The true innovation was in the stars themselves. According to legend, Betsy was given a design, but altered it by changing the common six-pointed star to the five-pointed star (which commonly appears on Old Glory to this day).

4. The Betsy Ross flag meaning remains a mystery.

There’s a common myth that the first flag was based on the Washington family coat of arms, which has since been discredited. One theory is that the stars represent their ancient meaning of man striving for something greater than himself. Some have speculated a connection between the stars and Freemasonry, but stars are not an important symbol in Freemasonry like pyramids or squares. The stripes may have come from the First Navy Jack, while the colors themselves are most likely (and somewhat ironically) from the Union Flag.

5. Betsy Ross American Flag possible design inspiration.

So who made the first American flag? No one is really sure, but the other big contender is Francis Hopkinson. He was a delegate from New Jersey to the Continental Congress, as well as a District Court Judge in Pennsylvania. He once asked for a quarter cask of wine in recognition of his efforts designing the American flag, but was never given this payment. He was also a noted writer of satire and poetry, with a building at the University of Pennsylvania named after him.

The iconic Betsy Ross flag lives on through tradition and history – it’s even attested in contemporaneous paintings of battles by John Trumbull and Charles Willson Peale. The patriotic symbol also adorns clothing brands, accessories, and souvenirs. And while we may not know who designed this symbol of freedom, one thing’s for sure: our search for the truth has never gotten in the way of a good story.

In the end, it doesn’t matter whether the story of the Betsy Ross Flag is true or not. It’s an American legend that will continue to inspire liberty for as long as this great country exists.

1 posted on 01/03/2022 11:55:15 AM PST by ammodotcom
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To: ammodotcom

In addition to the flag not being her design and she probably not making the first one, if you visit the Betsy Ross house museum in Philadelphia, you’ll learn some other interesting facts, such as:

The “Betsy Ross house” very well may not be the actual house she lived in. They had two houses to choose from and just went “eenie meenie miney mo.”

The whole origin of the legend likely started when one of her descendants decided to push the story in school.

Most of the contents of the “Betsy Ross house” were not her posessions, but things typical of a home of that era.

The portrait of Betsy Ross is not of Betsy Ross, but of a decendent that someone said looked kinda sorta like Betsy.

With all that said and all of that mythology crushed, she was a trusted independent businesswoman in the founding days of the Republic. She supported her family and her country through difficult times and had many of the nation’s founders and key persons as customers. Whatever you choose to believe, she was a respectable and hardworking person who was present during some very key points in history, and that’s something worth preserving.

2 posted on 01/03/2022 12:15:36 PM PST by jz638
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To: ammodotcom
I had a friend in high school whose mother was a close relative of Betsy Ross. She has one of Betsy's flags and at that time it was framed and mounted on the living room wall. I was like "What, are you crazy?" LOL

True story and I ain't naming names!

3 posted on 01/03/2022 12:27:03 PM PST by CivilWarBrewing (Get off my b"ack for my usage of CAPS, especially you snowflake males! MAN UP!)
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To: ammodotcom
It’s an American legend that will continue to inspire liberty for as long as this great country exists.

Tell that to Nike.

4 posted on 01/03/2022 12:31:37 PM PST by 1Old Pro (Let's make crime illegal again!)
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To: ammodotcom

Interesting. Thank you.

5 posted on 01/03/2022 12:31:48 PM PST by all the best
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To: all the best

The Bennington is also
240 yrs to get where we are.
We Had a Good run.

6 posted on 01/03/2022 12:47:19 PM PST by Big Red Badger (Make His Paths Straight!)
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To: ammodotcom

Not so sure. This does not discuss the fact that a) the first flag for Washington had the Union flag as the union with stripes, or that b) many, many flags had the more linear layout we are familiar with, forever since the “first” Betsy Ross Stars and Stripes.

This is another myth of the RevWar I rather wish would go away. It’s too kitschy and jingoistic. For lack of a better term.

7 posted on 01/03/2022 3:35:56 PM PST by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Federal-run medical care is as good as state-run DMV)
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To: ammodotcom
And here I thought Bugs Bunny's ancestors gave her the idea for the flag design!

8 posted on 01/03/2022 3:43:36 PM PST by ealgeone
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To: ealgeone

In the fifth segment, Bugs is seen approaching Betsy Ross’ home where she is sewing an American flag (presumably after several failed design attempts, this is the first iteration of the flag - it has the 13 red and white colony stripes and blue field). He says: “Hiya Bets - how’s the flag coming along?” She opens the flag displaying it and asks: “How’s this, Mr. Bunny?” but Bugs makes a comment to Betsy that something is missing in the blue field. (Note the sign at the front gate that says: “Watch your step - Geo. Washington slipped here”[4]). Pacing back and forth thinking hard about what can go in the blue field, Bugs unknowingly steps on a rake and the handle hits him in the head, forming a circle of stars around his head. He then looks at Betsy and asks: “Hey Betsy, does this give you an idea-r?” Betsy agrees, and starts sewing the stars into the blue space on the flag. That is how rabbits helped with the formation of the American flag.

9 posted on 01/03/2022 3:44:29 PM PST by ealgeone
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To: ealgeone

And when the country was falling apart
Betsy Ross got it all sewed up

10 posted on 01/03/2022 3:45:31 PM PST by dfwgator (Endut! Hoch Hech!)
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To: dfwgator


11 posted on 01/03/2022 3:49:23 PM PST by ealgeone
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To: ealgeone

12 posted on 01/03/2022 3:57:19 PM PST by nesnah (Infringe - act so as to limit or undermine [something]; encroach on)
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13 posted on 01/03/2022 6:38:21 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager imagining managing an imaginary menagerie.)
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To: CivilWarBrewing

Crazy indeed! Yes, I think the lady will be best off remaining anonymous or else Nicholas Cage might break into her living room one night.

14 posted on 01/04/2022 9:50:32 PM PST by ammodotcom
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