Many Americans know that Betsy Ross created the first American flag, but most are unfamiliar with the story behind the iconic American symbol. Betsy Ross's life was made of tragedy and triumph, just like the new nation born under the flag.
Elizabeth "Betsy" Ross, (formerly Elizabeth Griscom) settled in Philadelphia with her family in 1755, when she was just three years old. She was the eighth of seventeen children in a Quaker family and was trained to be an upholsterer—not just sewing flags, but also curtains, blinds, bedcovers, rugs, and tablecloths. As a newlywed, she opened an upholstery business in Philadelphia with her husband, John Ross. Her first and second husbands died within a few years, as did her first daughter. When she was 41, Betsy's mother, father, and sister all died of yellow fever. Betsy generously took widowed daughters, nieces, and their children into her home while she continued her upholstery and flag-making business. The grit with which she carried on through these challenges is in similitude to the birth of the nation.
Betsy was well acquainted with George Washington through church and business. She had embroidered ruffles for his shirt cuffs and bed hangings for when he visited Philadelphia. In May of 1776, a secret committee from the Continental Congress visited her to request that she sew the first official flag of the United States. Until that point, there were several different flags used by the colonies and militias, but it was time for a single, unifying flag that would be flown over Independence Hall at the reading of the Declaration of Independence. Betsy suggested the star design be changed from six-pointed stars to five-pointed stars, which she cut with remarkable ease. The alternating red and white stripes stood for the original thirteen colonies, while the thirteen stars represented a "new constellation." The U.S. flag continued to have many contributors as it evolved in design from that time until the present day.
The Betsy Ross American Flag in rustic wood captures the hardiness and strength of the Revolution, as well as the transcendent quality of this first flag. A symbol of the new American freedom, the first flag connects us to our origins and inspires patriotism unique to its design. The symbolic colors remind us of the valor, purity, and sacrifice of our Founding Fathers and first American heroes. This sturdy wooden representation of the earliest official American flag will be a family heirloom for years to come.
For more information about finding a rustic wooden Betsy Ross flag, contact a local seller.