Link back the Balestino Home page

Betsy Ross

Betsy sewed an American flag for George Washington. She changed George Washington's design and he liked it. She sewed it and it won. It would be the first United States flag.

Elizabeth Griscom, later called Betsy, was born on January 1, 1752 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was skilled in sewing and became an apprentice in a sewing shop. There Betsy married John Ross. Her parents didn't want Betsy to marry him because John was not a Quaker and because she married him, Betsy was no longer a Quaker. John and Betsy opened a sewing shop and made things for people. Betsy lived around the American Revolution. One day the doorbell rang. Expecting a customer, Betsy went to open the door. But at the door were General George Washington and two other men. They wanted her to sew a flag for the United States. There was a contest and Congress would pick which one they liked the best. Betsy asked if they had a design. George Washington said yes and they showed it to her. She completely changed the design. Betsy said that six pointed stars wasted material. It was easier to make five pointed stars. George liked it. Betsy sewed it and entered it in the contest.

It won and Betsy made flags for everyone. Business was going well. Meanwhile, John was a soldier in the army. He was guarding some supplies. Something blew up and John was killed. Betsy had two other husbands and all of them died before she did. She had many children who took care of her when she retired. She died on January 30, 1836. She was 75 years old. Copyright 2007 sponsor Canon FC Series Printer Cartridge