History of Betsy Ross
Betsy Ross's real name was not Betsy; it was Elizabeth. When she was born, she was Elizabeth Griscom. She was born into a family that wanted to have a couple of children. They ended up having 17! Betsy was the eighth child. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 1, 1752.Elizabeth went to a Quaker public school.
The school day was eight hours long. After school, she may have worked at an upholsterer's workshop. Her job there probably was something that had to do with sewing. When she was young, she entered a sewing contest at a fair.
The fair was probably held in her home town. Betsy made a flag with a moon, the Liberty Bell and ten stars. The stars were five-pointed. She did not always make her stars five-pointed. She used to make them six-pointed until her mother taught her how to make the five-pointed kind. The flag took third place at the fair. In November, 1773, 21-year-old Elizabeth eloped with John Ross. They got married in New Jersey. John Ross was wounded in an explosion. Even though his wife tried to heal him back to normal, he died on January 21, 1776.
Betsy married her next husband in June, 1777. Her next husband was Joseph Ashburn who was a sea captain. They had two daughters, Zillah, who died in her youth, and Elizabeth. Joseph was captured by the British and sent to a prison in England. He died in March, 1782. Betsy learned that from her friend, John Claypoole. In May, 1783, Betsy married again. Her husband was John Claypoole, the man who told her that her second husband had died. They had five daughters, Clarissa Sidney, Susannah, Rachel, Jane and Harriet, who died at nine months.
During the Revolutionary War, Betsy Ross ran an upholstery shop of her own. She may have made shirts for George Washington.
On June 14, 1777, Congress resolved that the flag of the U. S. should be "thirteen stripes alternate red and white, that the Union be thirteen stars white in a blue field. . ." According to Betsy Ross's journal, a committee from the Continental Congress came to see her about making the flag. The people on the committee were George Ross, Robert Morris, and George Washington. George Ross recommended her for making the flag. When the committee went to ask her, she said yes. The flag had thirteen stripes of red and white.
They stood for the thirteen colonies that were becoming states. The flag also had thirteen stars which also represented the thirteen colonies becoming states. The stars were five-pointed, and they were white on a blue background. In the modern flag, we still have thirteen stripes, one for each of the original thirteen colonies, but there are now 50 stars, one for each state that has joined the United States.