Betsy Ross

po_Ross-BetsyElizabeth Phoebe “Betsy” Ross (January 1, 1752 – January 30, 1836), née Griscom, also known by her second and third married names, Ashburn and Claypoole.

Betsy is widely credited with making the first American flag purportedly in 1776, according to family tradition, upon a visit from General George Washington, commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, and changing the shape of the stars he had sketched for the flag from six-pointed to five-pointed by demonstrating on the spot that it was not difficult to cut the latter. However, there is no archival evidence or other recorded verbal tradition to substantiate this story of the first American flag, and it appears that the story first surfaced in the writings of her grandson in the 1870s (a century after the fact), with no mention or documentation in earlier decades.

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