Who Designed The American Flag?


Betsy Ross (1752 – 1836) is widely credited with making the first American flag however, there is little historical evidence to prove that the story is true.

According to the traditional account, the original flag was made on July 4, 1776, when a small committee including George Washington and relative George Ross visited Betsy and discussed the need for a new American flag. Betsy accepted the job to manufacture the flag, altering the committee’s design by replacing the six-pointed stars with five-pointed stars.

Many dispute this story for several reasons. No records show that the Continental Congress had a committee to design the national flag in the spring of 1776 and although Betsy Ross kept detailed records, no invoice or document was found linking to this transaction. It is not unusual that Ross, an upholsterer, would have been paid to sew flags—there was a sudden and urgent need for them, and other Philadelphia upholsterers were also paid to sew flags in 1777 and later.

Francis Hopkinson is often given credit for the Betsy Ross design, as well as other 13-star arrangements. Hopkinson served on the Marine Committee, which passed the Flag Resolution on June 14, 1777, establishing the first congressional standard for official United States ensigns.

Ross biographer Marla Miller asserts that the question of Betsy Ross’ involvement in the flag should not be one of design, but of production. Even so, history researchers must consider that the United States flag evolved, and did not have one designer. “The flag, like the Revolution it represents, was the work of many hands.”

Read the full story on Wikipedia.