I have spent my day at the sewing machine stitching Americana baskets and trivet sets. I stitch a five pointed star on the base of each one, so I have been seeing a lot of stars today.
Since today is Flag Day and since I love a good story, I thought that I would share the story of Betsy Ross, the five pointed star, and sewing the first flag for our nation. After all, it was on this day in 1777 that the Second Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the nation’s flag. After I posted this story on our Facebook page and Instagram account, so many of our followers asked me to add it here to our blog. I am happy to oblige, so here it is!
Legend has it that George Washington, George Ross, and Robert Morris visited Betsy to enlist her help to create a flag for the colonies as they fought for their independence. Betsy was a natural choice as she and her husband had met George and Martha Washington at Christ Church where they sat in adjacent pews during services. They became friends and Betsy often mended George’s military uniforms for Martha during the war.
George presented Betsy with a pencil sketch of a flag which included 6 pointed stars drawn in pencil by George himself. Betsy recommended to the three men that the design be altered to include five pointed stars which would be easier to replicate and stitch. The three men preferred the six pointed star, but Betsy was determined to show them the merits of the five pointed star.
As she made her case, she is said to have removed a piece of tattered paper from her pocket, folded it, and then made a single snip with her sewing scissors. When she unfolded the paper, it was a perfectly symmetrical five pointed star. Then men were so impressed with her handiwork that they agreed to her suggestion and our flag was designed with Betsy’s five pointed star.
Many believe this story to be historically accurate while others have pointed out that it is more fable than fact. Either way, I still love the story and think of Betsy Ross at the young age of 24 convincing the most powerful man of her day, George Washington, to change his mind!