Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Betsy Ross - Fact or Fiction? Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History

In April 1776 while Boston was being plagued with a smallpox epidemic George Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross approached the upholster Betsy Ross with making an American flag.

Washington, Morris, and Ross were supposedly a part of a secret committee of the Continental Congress ordered to develop an American flag. Washington approached Betsy Ross with the project, and she happily accepted.

However numerous historians have said that this story is mere legend. They say there never was a secret flag committee and a Flag Resolution wasn't even passed until 1777. Furthermore, they claim that during the Revolutionary War the United States did not fight under a single standard flag.

But I believe there is enough historical evidence to make Betsy Ross' story valid. First there is her numerous connections with Washington. She was well acquainted with him, because they went to the same church in Philadelphia, and her daughter is quoted in saying he hired her to embroider "ruffles for his shirt bosoms and cuffs, and that it was partly owing to his friendship that she was chosen to make the flag."

So it makes sense that Washington would approach her, if anyone, for the assignment.

Then in the book Pioneer Mothers of America, the niece of Roger Sherman, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, is quoted talking about Betsy Ross. She was talking about how her aunt Rebecca Sherman was excited about America's independence:
"When a little later, George Washington designed and ordered the new flag to be made by Betsy Ross, nothing would satisfy Aunt Rebecca but to go and see it in the works, and there she had the privilege of sewing some of the stars on the very first flag of a Young Nation. Perhaps because of this experience she was chosen and requested to make the first flag ever made in the State of Connecticut."
Sounds like good enough evidence to me! Betsy Ross was the real deal!

And that's my two cents.

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