Betsy Ross: The Life Behind the Legend - Preface

"Betsy Ross", American artisan, Founders of America, Fair Use.

Most Americans know at least a little bit about Betsy Ross. Ross’ grandson, William Canby, first told the story of how she created the first American flag to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in 1870. Generations have repeated that story ever since.

The story, according to Canby, goes like this:

George Washington came to Betsy Ross with a sketch in hand of a new flag to represent the 13 colonies that had untied together in rebellion against England. The flag would have 13 red and white stripes with a blue canton of 13 stars. The legend says that Washington had sketched out stars with six points, but Betsy took a piece of paper and folded it just so and, with one snip of her scissors created a perfect 5-pointed star.  Washington agreed to the new star design and the rest is history.

Millions of Americans have heard this story, but very few know the real facts surrounding the creation of the Stars and Stripes. This is a story about the remarkable life of Betsy Ross.

Original Release: Sep 12, 2016

Updated Last Revision: Sep 29, 2017

1) Miller, Marla R., Citizen Seamstress, The American Legion Magazine, Jun/01/2016, Jul/11/2016, http://www.legion.org/magazine

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