Philly Myth: Betsy Ross

Betsy Ross is a myth. OK so not really Betsy Ross the woman but the fact that she sewed the first flag and that she sewed the first flag over at 239 Arch Street is. While the Betsy Ross House has stuck by the claim that she did in fact live in the house the Joint State Government Commission of Pennsylvania concluded in 1949 that there was no proof Betsy Ross lived in that house.

But surely you now ask Betsy Ross designed the flag, I mean there is the whole George Washington wanted six point stars but Betsy said that five point stars would be easier to cut and stich and GW relented. Right? Well not exactly it seems the first flag was designed by Frances Hopkins, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, in 1780.

But she at least sewed the flag, right? There is that historic depiction in the house with Betsy sewing the flag in the Betsy Ross House. Certainly the city wouldn’t facilitate a lie to gain more tourism dollars would they? Well actually they would. It can not be proven that Betsy Ross actually sewed anything in that house let alone the flag.

Sorry myth, you’ve been busted.

1 Comment so far

  1. leah (unregistered) on March 25th, 2007 @ 8:17 pm

    hi im leah

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