On the 4th of July, we celebrate what it means to be an American. The American flag that we see on top of our buildings is a symbol of democracy. During the Revolutionary War, our American troops fought, so the thirteen colonies were freed from British rule. After Americans won the Revolutionary War, a new flag was needed for our new nation. Late in May 1776, George Washington, Robert Morris and Colonel George Ross, who were three influential members of the Continental Congress, visited Betsy Ross’s home and asked her to sew the American flag. General George Washington, who became the first President of the United States, showed Ross a rough sketch of the American flag that included a six pointed star. Ross, who was a seamstress that owned her own upholstery business, cut out the star so perfectly that Washington gave Ross the job of creating the American flag. She completed the flag either in late May or early June 1776.
The hands that created the American flag were strong, for Ross had the American spirit. She had suffered personal hardship, for she lost two husbands to the Revolutionary War and two of her seven daughters in infancy. Her personal tragedies did not stop her from running her own upholstery business where she sewed, made furniture and flags. She was a patriot who also made cloth pouches which the American soldiers used to hold gunpowder during the Revolutionary War. She continued to work in her upholstery business until 1827 and many of her family members joined her.
When Betsy Ross died on January 30, 1836 at the age of 84, she left a legacy to the nation that she loved: the American flag. Today the American flag has fifty stars representing the fifty states; Ross’s flag had thirteen stars representing the thirteen colonies. Even though the flag is different, it still spreads the same message of democracy. During the 4th of July holiday, let us remember Betsy Ross who made our flag and the finest Americans who continue to fight for democracy.