On This Day

Betsy Ross

Seamstress Credited with Creating the First American Flag Betsy Ross

Profession: Seamstress Credited with Creating the First American Flag

United States of America

Biography: Betsy Ross has traditionally been credited with having sewn the first American flag, but in fact this is far from certain and all that can be proved is that she was just one of a group of women in Philadelphia employed to make flags during and after the American Revolution.

The only evidence of Betsy Ross' direct involvement comes from a paper published by her grandson William Canby in 1870, 100 years after the event, for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. In his tale, taken purely from family oral history, George Washington himself visited Ross's shop requesting a flag and Ross was the one who recommended a five-sided star and it is her design that is eventually approved by Congress .

Betsy Ross's name became famous when she was later included in Charles Weisgerber's painting "The Birth of Our Nation’s Flag" exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. Prints of the painting were made and were widely distributed, thus giving rise to the belief that Ross had made the first original American flag.

Born: January 1, 1752
Birthplace: Gloucester City, Colony of New Jersey, British America
Star Sign: Capricorn

Died: January 30, 1836 (aged 84)

Married Life

  • 1773-11-04 American seamstress Elizabeth Griscom (Betsy Ross) weds American upholster John Ross at Huggs Tavern in Gloucester City, New Jersey
  • 1777-06-15 American seamstress Betsy Ross (25) weds (for the 2nd time) mariner Joseph Ashburn
  • 1783-05-08 American seamstress Betsy Ross (31) weds (for the 3rd time) John Claypoole at Christ Church

Historical Events

  • 1941-05-26 American Flag House (Betsy Ross' Home) given to city of Philadelphia

Famous Americans