Undeniably, the Betsy Ross Flag stands out as an “iconic” American symbol. It’s sleek, clean, simple design (a lot similar to the current flag), featuring 13 stripes, stars (in a circle) makes it a unique addition to any American home. The stars in a circle represent the 13 individual colonies. The simplicity of the flag is the main reason behind its popularity among several American patriots, and so many prefer to invest in a handcrafted wooden wall art depicting the Betsy Ross flag. It hearkens back to the era when America was still a free place and resistant to any form of tyranny.
Although this flag is one of the oldest flags of the American nation, so many people are not aware of its actual history. Do you know who Betsy Ross was? What makes this flag an iconic design, and a strong symbol of freedom?
1. Who Was Betsy Ross?
Did you know that her family and Quakers shunned Betsy Ross? Just like many others in Pennsylvania, a Quaker, she was born Elizabeth Griscom. Upon her education completion from public school, an upholsterer (her father’s decision) apprenticed her. She met her future husband here, named John Ross, who was an Episcopal, who signed the Independence declaration. The Quaker community was not the sort to encourage inter-denominational marriages, and the two decided to elope when she was just 21 years of age.
This decision took a turn in her life when her family estranged her, and the Quaker community expelled her. A few years later during the revolution, her husband died. After his death, she decided to rejoin the Quakers, as a fighter, supporting the war efforts.
She later married Joseph Ashburn, her second husband. She had two kids with him, but things weren’t good for him, and the British jail took him in custody at sea for treason. He died during his trial phase. Betsy then remarried for a third time, this time she had five daughters, but only four made it to adulthood.
2. The Five-Pointed Stars are Important
So many people believe that the flag’s design comes with a unique combination of stripes and stars, but these existed in the other pre-constitutional flags of America as well, including flags like the Bennington Flag you find at American Echoes. According to history, she got a design with stars but chose to alter it by changing the six-pointed stars to five, which also features on the Old Glory today.
3. She Didn’t Actually Design the Flag
Although Betsy Ross was not the mastermind behind the flags design, American legend and folklore say she was responsible for its creation. The very first story became popular back in the 1876 centennial. Legend has it that Betsy Ross was the first who made the flag since George Ross was the first to make the personal request (and George Washington, America’s first president).
There’s no particular evidence that supports Ross’s creation and design as the first flag of America. in addition, there is no particular evidence that or record of any committee responsible for the design of the flag, and some people even speculate whether George Washington even had an idea of who Betsy Ross actually was in that era. Although history has it that the Pennsylvania State Navy Board gave Betsy significant sum to make some flags, there’s no clear information on what exactly the flags were, or what their appearance was like.
4. What Inspired the Design of the Betsy Ross Flag?
You should know there is a common myth that says the very first flag had a design similar to the coat of arms of the Washington family. A theory suggests that the stars also represent an ancient meaning, where a man may strive for something that’s better for him. Some say there’s a connection between Freemasonry and the stars. However, stars are actually not significant symbols in freemasonry like squares or pyramids.
Although there is no precise evidence, as to whether there’s some truth to the legend of Betsy Ross and the flag. Even if she did have a hand in making the stripes and flags, it could be in the Betsy Ross flag, as we know today. Then again, the oldest version of this flag was in the 1792 painting that John Trumbull worked on.
There isn’t much proof surrounding the Betsy Ross flag, but these are just some of the facts you should know. The next time you buy one for your home, you can proudly give visitors some information on the handcrafted wooden wall art that you have in your home! Make sure you buy the best quality one (preferably, go for reclaimed wood wall art décor). Explore all the retailers in your area, and if you choose to shop online, don’t forget to go through product reviews to know more about the quality.