A National Symbol


Betsy Ross is credited with completing the first American Flag.

The Congressional Committee of George Washington, George Ross and Robert Morris are conferring with Betsy Ross as to the design of the new flag of the United States.


What follows is the true story, to the best of our understanding.

Betsy would often tell her children, grandchildren, relatives, and friends of the fateful day when three members of a secret committee from the Continental Congress came to call upon her. Those representatives, George Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross, asked her to sew the first flag. This meeting occurred in her home some time late in May, 1776. George Washington was then the head of the Continental Army. Robert Morris, and owner of lots of land. Colonel George Ross was friends of her late husband, John Ross.

Naturally, Betsy Ross already knew George Ross as she had married his nephew. Furthermore, Betsy also knew General Washington. Not only did they both worship at Christ Church in Philadelphia, but Betsy's pew was next to George and Martha Washington's pew. Her daughter recalled, "That she was previously well acquainted with Washington, and that he had often been in her house in friendly visits, as well as on business. That she had embroidered ruffles for his shirt bosoms and cuffs, and that it was partly owing to his friendship for her that she was chosen to make the flag"

In June, 1776, brave Betsy was a widow struggling to run her own upholstery business. Upholsterers in colonial American not only worked on furniture but did all manner of sewing work, which for some included making flags.

According to Betsy, General Washington showed her a rough design of the flag that included a six-pointed star. Betsy, a standout with the scissors, demonstrated how to cut a five-pointed star in a single snip. Impressed, the committee entrusted Betsy with making our first flag.



Things not to do with the flag:

Never drape the flag or draw it back in folds.

Never dip the flag for any person or thing even though other flags may be dipped as a mark of honor.

Never let the flag touch anything beneath it, such as the ground or floor.

Never display the flag with the union down, except as a signal of distress.

Never use it to hold objects of any kind.

Never use a flag as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery.

A flag should not be used on a costume or athletic uniform.

However, a flag patch may be attached to the uniforms of patriotic organization, military personnel, police officers and firefighter.

Never use the flag for advertising or promotional purposes.

Learn how to cut your own 5 pointed star just like Betsy showed George Washington.



This site gives a time line of the history of the flag.

I hope you have learned something about the our flag.