Betsy Ross

Betsy Ross
Painting depicting the story of Betsy Ross presenting the first American flag to General George Washington, by Edward Percy Moran

Ross, Betsy (1752–1836) In American history and folklore, creator of the first Stars and Stripes American flag. Betsy was a widow struggling to run her own upholstery business. Upholsterers in colonial America not only worked on furniture but did all manner of sewing, including making flags. According to
an account read before the Historical Society of Pennsylvania on 29 May 1870 by William Canby, Betsy Ross’s grandson, the first flag was made in June 1776 at the request of a committee made up of George Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross, but no evidence exists to support this. In 1781 Francis Hopkinson, who had designed a naval flag, asked Congress to reimburse him for the design of the original Stars and Stripes. Congress declined.


Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow-Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante