Betsy Ross was fake news. I hate to puncture your patriotic bubble over this one, but her story was entirely made up. Alternative Facts.
I had read this before, but even as I starting working on this week’s entry, 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. I even read a biography all about her in the second grade… say it’s not so! But, as Wikipedia says, “the claim by her descendants stat[ing] that Betsy Ross contributed to this design is not accepted by modern American scholars and vexillologists.” Vexillologist should be our word for the day!
Ross, by the way, was an upholsterer and did sew but the details of how she gave the design to George Washington in 1776 at his request all appear to be 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. Continue reading “Flag Day; Pride Month”