Betsy Ross and Patriotism {Spin Cycle}

I was in first grade in 1976, and even though I had just turned seven, I knew that 1976 was an important year. Our little town celebrated the Bicentennial for that whole year, along with the rest of the United States. My teacher gave me the wonderful role of Betsy Ross for the school play, a role that I relished. I could just imagine George Washington coming to my parlor to ask me if I would make the first American flag! My mom sewed a Colonial dress for me to wear, along with a mop cap and an apron. I loved wearing my little cap!

Betsy Ross

When summer came, I reprised my role as flag-sewing Betsy for the Fourth of July parade. While other kids wove red, white and blue streamers through spokes on their bicycle wheels for the parade, I actually got to sit on a float! With my pretend needle, I sewed the flag as we paraded through town.

A couple of years ago, perhaps because I remember portraying Betsy Ross so vividly, I began to take pictures of American flags on the Fourth of July. On the flag we’re so familiar with today, the stripes represent the 13 original colonies and the 50 stars represent the number of states. The color red symbolizes hardiness and valor. White symbolizes purity and innocence. Blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice. As we sing at preschool, it certainly is a “Grand Old Flag!”

dog with flag hat






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12 Replies to “Betsy Ross and Patriotism {Spin Cycle}”

  1. 1. According to the U.S. government, there is no proof to the Betsy Ross story. The so-called “Betsy Ross Flag” dates from the early 1790s — not the Revolutionary War. And although Mrs. Ross made flags for 50 years, she made flags for Pennsylvania’s navy during the War. (Source: “Our Flag.” Joint Committee on Printing. United States Congress. H. Doc. 100-247. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office. 1989. p. 2.)

    2. Scholars now credit Francis Hopkinson as the American flag’s designer. (Source: Leepson, Marc. “Flag: An American Biography.” St. Martin’s Griffin. 2005. p. 33.)

    3. The Flag Manufacturers Association of America (FMAA) issued the following Tweet on February 4, 2021:

    #FlagFact: The designer of the American flag was Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence as a delegate from New Jersey.

    Submitted by Earl P. Williams, Jr., U.S. flag historian (paleovexillologist)

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