Flag Day; Pride Month

Note: I could not resist updating and reposting this essay from an earlier year ’cause they just won’t stop talking about B.R.

Betsy Ross was fake news. I hate to puncture your patriotic bubble over this one, but her story was entirely made up. Alternative Facts.

When I first started researching “Flag Day,” I fully expected to write about the circle of stars and the bars of stripes and was upset to be reminded – that it’s not true. Curse that biography I read about her in the second grade… say it’s not so!  Wikipedia has the details, or you can track down journal articles like this one on “Betsy Ross ‘Bit of Fiction’–The Flag'” in the The American Catholic Historical Researches, 6(4), 1910, which flatly states:

The New England Historical and Genealogical 1909… settles conclusively the Betsy Ross controversy claim to be legendary and without foundation, tradition based on tales from memory. Students and teachers should do all in their power to correct or eliminate, if possible, another bit of fiction United States.

“Betsy Ross ‘Bit of Fiction’–The Flag'” in the The American Catholic Historical Researches, 6(4), 1910.

Vexillologists tell us not to be fooled by these decrepit fictions. Vexillologist should be our word for the day!

Ross, by the way, was an upholsterer who did sew, but the details of how she created the design in a response to a George Washington request in 1776 were made up by an enterprising descendant, William Canby, who wanted to hawk fake artifacts on the Internet. (Or the Internet version in 1870, which was the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.) Since her house is now treated as a historical site and a cottage industry has sprung up around her name, his ploy worked.

The Grand Union Flag & the British East India Company

Now I am going to blow your mind. The flag below was the first flag of the United States.

20170614 union flag Rick Wyatt
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