Historical Nonfiction

fun facts, quotes, and pictures from history
While Betsy Ross did make American flags in the late 1770s, it is very unlikely that she was hired by a small committee and George Washington to design the original one. The only “proof” we have that she did is the story told by her grandson, William Canby, to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in 1870, and some affidavits he produced of family members collaborating his version. Because newspapers at the time do not mention Washington meeting with Ross, and Washington never mentions Betsy Ross’ involvement in his extensive journalling, historians think the whole legend is just that — a legend.

While Betsy Ross did make American flags in the late 1770s, it is very unlikely that she was hired by a small committee and George Washington to design the original one. The only “proof” we have that she did is the story told by her grandson, William Canby, to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in 1870, and some affidavits he produced of family members collaborating his version. Because newspapers at the time do not mention Washington meeting with Ross, and Washington never mentions Betsy Ross’ involvement in his extensive journalling, historians think the whole legend is just that — a legend.

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