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First American Flag

It was May of 1776 when Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress, was visited by three members of a secret committee from the Continental Congress. These members were represented by George Washington, head of the Continental Army, Robert Morris, a large land owner and George Ross, a respected citizen. Betsy was already acquainted with two of these gentlemen, as George Ross was the uncle of her late husband and she worshiped in the same church as George and Martha Washington.

This committee came prepared with a rough sketch of a flag that included a six-pointed star. Betsy proceeded to show the gentlemen how to cut a five-pointed star with just a single cut. Even though General Washington initially favored the six-pointed star, the group was so impressed with the 5-pointed star demonstration they entrusted Betsy with making our first flag.

Betsy finished making the flag in late May or early June of 1776.

The Declaration of Independence was read aloud for the first time in July 1776 at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Bells tolled throughout the city announcing the birth of a new nation.

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted that the flag of the United States have a total of thirteen stripes, alternating red and white, with seven red and six white stripes. The flag would have thirteen stars formed in a circle on a field of blue, representing the thirteen original colonies. You can purchase your very own replica of the Betsy Ross flag in our Historical Flags section.