Interested in the first American flag? Find out about the history and development of the first American flag…
The story of the creation of the first American flag is as interesting as it is legendary. Ms. Betsy was visited by George Washington, Robert Morriss and George Ross – members of a clandestine committee of the Continental Congress. They commissioned her to sew the first flag in late May 1796.
About Betsy Ross
An accomplished seamstress, Betsy Ross was well known in the community. Her acquaintance with Col Ross was due to her marriage to his nephew, and she was aware of General Washington as they worshiped at the same Church and he often interacted with her for his clothing and also at the church where he attended the Sunday mass with his wife. It was partly due to this acquaintance and familiarity that she was entrusted with the task of creating the first American Flag.
Thus in June 1776, Mrs. Betsy Ross who was a struggling widow and accomplished flag maker, upholsterer, embroidery designer and furniture maker, was provided a design with a flag that had a six pointed star. She impressed the committee with her crafty tactic of creating a five pointed star with a single snip of the scissors and that sealed the deal.
First American Flag in the Making
Till that period, the colonies and military units used various flags but there was no uniformity and cohesion. There are the famous ones like the Continental Navy flag known popularly as the “Rattlesnake Flag” fending off the would be challengers with its “Don’t Tread on Me” slogan.
The other famous naval flag is the ‘Liberty Tree” flag. Some were even spin offs of the British Union Jack. This is not very odd as the colonists were also full of people who considered themselves subjects of Britain since they hailed from Britain and King George III ruled over the colonies.
January 1, 1776, saw the restructuring of the Continental Army falling in sync with the doctrines of a Congressional resolution where all the American Armed Forces were commissioned under General Washington’s control. The same day the army lay siege to Boston and General Washington ordered the hoisting of the Grand Union flag above his armed forces base at Prospect Hill “to compliment the United Colonies.”
On this day the Loyalists – who supported Britain were propagating the speech by King George which provided favors to the Continental forces in return of laying down their arms. As the Grand Union was hoisted on Prospect Hill, the Loyalists thought that it was a sure sign of surrender by the Continental forces but many of the leading Continentals had never even heard of the speech and it was a pure misunderstanding which led to the conclusion that a new flag was needed urgently.
As Betsy Ross’s dateline reveals she possibly finished the flag in May end or early June 1776 and in July the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed and that was the ushering in of a new nation. Her house was often used as a place to lodge soldiers and finally in 1777 the USA managed to sever ties with Britain and to cement this fact, on June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress, in a bid to adopt nationalistic pride seeking to promote national pride, adopted the original American flag.