Friday, June 13, 2014

Flag Day and Little Known Facts about Betsy Ross

I never did well in history, but I enjoy looking back and learning tidbits of information about people who shaped our country’s history.  Today, in honor of Flag Day tomorrow, I’m looking at Elizabeth (Betsy) Ross.
Although it is up for debate, the story is that a few members of Congress (George Washington, Robert Morris and George Ross) were chosen to be on a secret committee to create a flag for the United States.  They approached Betsy in her upholstery shop in Philadelphia to see if she could help them.  It came about that the original design they were requesting had six-pointed stars.  Betsy suggested five because they were easier to cut.  They liked her idea and later the flag she created was approved by Congress.

Did you know:

**  Betsy was the 8th out of 17 children.

** She was extremely patriotic and the British soldiers who occupied her house in the winter of 1777-78 dubbed her “The Little Rebel” because of it.

** She lost two husbands in the Revolutionary War. 

** She was George Washington’s tailor having done work on the ruffles on his shirts and on the cuffs of his sleeves.

** Betsy’s first husband John had two uncles who signed the Declaration of Independence.

** Congress ordered all the flags Betsy could make, a job she continued for the next 50 years.

** Along with flags, Betsy also made gunpowder bags, tents and blankets for the Continental Army

If you’re interested in how a five-pointed star can be made with one cut, check out the instructions for the Betsy Ross Star here.

Your turn:  What part of history do you like to learn about?

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