Ross, Betsy

Ross, Betsy

Ross, Betsy, 1752-1836, American seamstress, b. Philadelphia. Her full name was Elizabeth Griscom Ross. She is known to have made flags during the American Revolution, although the long-accepted story that she designed and made the first American national flag (the Stars and Stripes) is generally discredited.

See R. Thompson, The Last of Philadelphia's Free Quakers (1972).

orig. Elizabeth Griscom

(born Jan. 1, 1752, Philadelphia, Pa.—died Jan. 30, 1836, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.) American patriot. She worked as a seamstress and upholsterer, carrying on her husband's upholstery business after he was killed in the American Revolution. According to legend, in 1776 she was visited by George Washington, Robert Morris, and her husband's uncle George Ross, who asked her to make a flag for the new nation based on a sketch by Washington. She is supposed also to have suggested the use of the five-pointed star rather than the six-pointed one chosen by Washington. Though Ross did make flags for the navy, no firm evidence supports the legend of the national flag. In 1777 the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the U.S. flag.

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Betsy is an English name for females, used as a nickname for Elizabeth. It is also a surname. Famous uses or users of Betsy include:

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