31 Betsy Ross Flag Facts: Everything You Should Know! | Kidadl


31 Betsy Ross Flag Facts: Everything You Should Know!

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Betsy Ross was deeply influenced by the British flag for why some elements from their flag can be seen drawn out for the Ross flag.

Betsy Ross was born Elizabeth Griscom in New Jersey in 1752. She was greatly inspired and impressed with Quaker ideals. She had an upholstery apprenticeship under the upholsterer William Webster, and on marrying John Ross, a relative of Colonel George Ross, she completely tuned in for the upholstery business. Unfortunately, much information cannot be found about this lady who was fortunate to entwine a nation and its ideals on a fabric.

The anecdotes say that her family and the former President Washington, attended the same church and that acquaintance resulted in approaching her for getting a flag designed for this mighty nation. Following the death of her husband, she married Joseph Ashburn and John Claypoole. Betsy expired in Philadelphia in 1836. Her contacts with George Ross and Robert Morris drove the opportunity to her and it was publicized by her grandson William Canby, to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Canby’s account of 1870 stated that she made no contributions to the flag design except for those five-pointed stars.

This publicly presented version of the flag by William Canby was subject not only to the folklore, but also to debates. Though there is no consensus, the Ross flag is considered the ‘first American flag’. Prior to her, a flagmaker, Margaret Manny is said to have designed the Grand Union Flag, but a conclusion cannot be drawn as she didn’t bring stars and stripes in her design. Flagmakers like Rebecca Young, Anne King, Cornelia Bridges, and William Barrett had come up with designs. But the Ross flag managed to win the title of the first flag. She is believed to have made the flag at her Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia. This shrine for the American flag stands third in popularity after Liberty Hall and Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

There are major controversies and disbeliefs regarding the fact that Betsy Ross designed the American flag after the revolution. Some argue that Francis Hopkinson, who worked behind the government seals of the US also designed the American flag. Though there is no historical evidence to prove that Betsy Ross designed the American flag and therefore not to conclude it, there are countless pieces of evidence to prove that she designed the flag following the American Revolution. On the contrary, some deny that she designed the flag, solely staying on the plank of sexism. They are reluctant to accept the fact that a lady had designed the former American flag. The incomplete and inconclusive sources are the reasons for this unreliability and controversies regarding who designed the original flag in the past few years.

After reading about the role of Betsy Ross in preparing the first American flag, also check out Betsy Ross facts and Benjamin Zephaniah facts.

Stripes In Betsy Ross Flag

There are 13 alternating red and white stripes in the flag designed by Betsy Ross. The religious stripes in the Betsy Ross flag depicted the rebellious nature of the colonists.

Today’s flag has seven red and white horizontal stripes still symbolizing the former colonies. The legislations made from 1777 put forward the notion of 13 stripes in the flag. Further, legislation passed in 1794 and 1818 too suggested the same. Though the number of stripes has fallen from 13 to seven, the stripes still stand for the former British colonies. These stripes symbolize the united states borne out of the united colonies.

Stars In Betsy Ross Flag

The US flag has 13 white stars on a blue field. Undoubtedly, you would have always wondered why stars still occupy much of the US flag! Here is what they stand for!

George Washington proclaimed that stars were taken from the sky and said 'Let the thirteen stars in a circle stand as a new constellation in the heavens'. These 13 stars represented 13 colonies that fought for independence during the American revolutionary war in the US which through the passage of time rose to 50. To this day, these 50 stars stand for 50 states of the US; bonded with peace and harmony.

Ross stood for five-pointed stars for the sake of convenience when the committee protested. She is said to have made a five-pointed star out of a folded paper in a snip; much to the awe of committee members. That was enough to impress them and give a nod to her idea. In the Betsy Ross flag, the stars were set out in a circle to implicit that no colony would be considered superior to another and that all share an affiliation infused with mutual bonding, goodwill, and consonance.

Circles In Betsy Ross Flag

The circles in the Betsy Ross flag were widely regarded as ‘Betsy Ross design’.

This circle of stars in the national flag was regarded as a symbol of the American Revolution and the young republic.

Betsy Ross is known for sewing the first American flag, known as the Grand Union flag to promote national pride.

Colors In Betsy Ross Flag

The colors we see in the Betsy Ross flag are red, white, and blue. Could there be some reasons why she chose this color?

The colors often convey a lot. When they are represented on a flag, they represent the spirit of the whole nation. The Continental Congress of the US has left no records to let us know why Betsy Ross specifically opted for these vibrant and expressive colors. However, since a flag is a representative of a nation and its nationals, these colors on the US flag imbibe the ethos of this esteemed nation. It was in 1782, that the Confederation of the Congress chose these three colors for the Great Seal of the US and enumerated what each color stood for.

The red color denotes the valor and hardiness of the nation; white implies purity and innocence; while blue stands for vigilance, justice, and perseverance. The US, after the revolutionary war, had to lay down the developmental path from the scratch, without any helping hand. At this point, the hardiness and resilience that the citizens of the US displayed are worth applauding. The red stands for their firmness and strength to build up a nation.

All these colors in the flag bear the quintessence of the nation. The interpretation of the colors has changed over time. The first President of the US, George Washington had a distinct interpretation; for he believed that red hailed from the British and white denotes the succession from the home country. As of today, there has been no official statement to read out the true essence of each color.

Political And Cultural Significance

There have been several controversies encircling the Betsy Ross flag. Some were related to its origin, while others targeted the symbolism; yet others came up with sexist agenda and racism to backlash the flag. Would it mean that the flag designed by her is devoid of political or cultural relevance? Read further to know!

The Betsy Ross flag was borne out of a fiery revolutionary war that took place in the US against the British occupation. The flag designed by Betsy Ross was unfurled soon after the revolution came to an end; marking the journey of the US towards a sovereign democratic republic. Unarguably, the flag carries the true spirit of a common citizen and all the brave leaders who fought to bring home independence.

Some argue that the flag doesn’t bear any symbolic values. However, one can never deny that the flag still upholds the essence of patriotism and praises a long-fought, bitter battle for freedom. The flag signified the beginning of a nation that was all set to usher into a new era of unity, progress, and harmony. The flag reminded people of their love, appreciation, and reverence towards their motherland. Maybe the flag doesn’t hold any symbolic value in the eyes of many. But, the flag unquestionably revived the national spirit in Americans and taught them to embrace their political identity.

The Grand Union flag with red and white stripes was featured in a few prominent paintings like that of ‘General George Washington at Trenton’ and ‘Washington crossing the Delaware’. The political and cultural significance is not confined to the Ross flag but also meets Betsy Ross for she is looked highly up to by the young girls as a patriotic role model. She is an emblem of the contributions made by women in American history. It stands for the national pride, independence, and rugged resilience that the US is known for since times immemorial.

The Betsy Ross flag has 13 alternate stripes (seven red, six white) in the upper left corner, with stars in a blue field (canton). Its defining element is a circle of 13 five-pointed stars, which commemorate the 13 colonies that battled for freedom during the American Revolutionary War. Betsy's cousin by marriage, John Ross, was a business partner of Robert Morris. When the flag vote was taken as part of the Marine Committee's normal business, Morris was a member of the committee.

Canby said that his aunt Clarissa Sydney Wilson (née Claypoole) told him about Betsy Ross's death in 1857, 20 years after she died. According to his narrative, the first flag was created in June 1776, when a small committee – including George Washington, Robert Morris, and a relative named George Ross — visited Betsy and discussed the necessity for a new U.S flag. They ask Mrs. Ross to create the first flag, along with George Ross and Robert Morris. However, the most straightforward explanation for the American flag's colors is that they were inspired by British flags.

Captain Abraham Markoe's Philadelphia Light Horse Troop flew a flag with 13 blue and silver stripes in 1775. The flag's design of the American flag was most likely influenced by one or both of these flags. Despite Canby's best attempts, he was unable to locate any records indicating that in the spring of 1776, the Continental Congress established a committee to design the national flag. Despite being a member of the First Continental Congress, George Washington left in 1775 to become commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.

Betsy Ross has shown sewing the flag in an 1851 artwork by Ellie Wheeler, purportedly the daughter of Thomas Sully. The story was known over 20 years before Canby's presentation to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania if the picture is accurate and the date is correct. The American icon Dr. Benjamin Franklin takes the place of George Washington in this version. They ask Mrs. Ross to create the first flag, along with George Ross and Robert Morris.

The first American flag could have been stitched by anyone in Philadelphia. Even according to Canby, other flags were being created at the same time Ross was sewing the one that would bear her name. If this is correct, there could be more than one 'first' flag. A variety of 13-star arrangements, notably the Betsy Ross design, are credited to Francis Hopkinson.

Betsy accepted the flag-making task, changing the committee's design by substituting five-pointed stars for the six-pointed ones. In late spring 1776, a year before Congress enacted the Flag Act, Washington traveled to Philadelphia. Ross's grandson, William J. Canby, delivered a presentation to the Pennsylvania Historical Society in 1870, claiming that his grandmother 'crafted with her hands the first flag' of the United States. She had an upholstery apprenticeship under the upholsterer William Webster, and on marrying John Ross, a relative of Colonel George Ross, she completely tuned in for the upholstery business. She set up an upholstery shop for it as a flag-maker. Betsy was the only person to do so.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Betsy Ross flag facts, then why not take a look at Bill Brasky facts or Bill Murray facts?

Hemant Oswal
Written By
Hemant Oswal

<p>With global experience in marketing and business development, Hemant is a seasoned professional with a unique perspective. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from the University of Delhi and a Master's degree in Marketing from The University of Adelaide in Australia. Hemant's work in China, Hong Kong, and Dubai has honed his skills and provided valuable experience. He broadens his understanding of the world through reading non-fiction books and watching documentaries.</p>

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