BETSY ROSS AND THE FLAG
BY HARRY PRINGLE FORD (ADAPTED)
 ON the 14th day of June, 1777, the Continental Congress
passed the following resolution: "Resolved, That the flag of
the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes alternate red
and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue
field, representing a new constellation."
We are told that previous to this, in 1776, a committee was
appointed to look after the matter, and together with
General Washington they called at the house of Betsy Ross,
239 Arch Street, Philadelphia.
Betsy Ross was a young widow of twenty-four heroically
supporting herself by continuing the upholstery business of
her late husband, young John Ross, a patriot who had died in
the service of his country. Betsy was noted for her
exquisite needlework, and was engaged in the flag-making
The committee asked her if she thought she could make a flag
from a design, a rough drawing of which General Washington
showed her. She replied, with diffidence, that she did not
know whether she could or not, but would try. She noticed,
however, that the star as drawn had
 six points, and informed the committee that the correct star
had but five. They answered that as a great number of stars
would be required, the more regular form with six points
could be more easily made than one with five.
She responded in a practical way by deftly folding a scrap
of paper; then with a single clip of her scissors she
displayed a true, symmetrical, five-pointed star.
This decided the committee in her favor. A rough design was
left for her use, but she was permitted to make a sample
flag according to her own ideas of the arrangement of the
stars and the proportions of the stripes and the general
form of the whole.
Sometime after its completion it was presented to Congress,
and the committee had the pleasure of informing Betsy Ross
that her flag was accepted as the Nation's standard.
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