often tell her children, grandchildren, relatives, and friends
of the fateful day when three members of a secret committee from
the Continental Congress came to call upon her. Those representatives,
George Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross, asked her to
sew the first flag. This meeting occurred in her home some time
late in May 1776. George Washington was then the head of the Continental
Army. Robert Morris, an owner of vast amounts of land, was perhaps
the wealthiest citizen in the Colonies. Colonel George Ross was
a respected Philadelphian and also the uncle of her late husband,
Betsy Ross already knew George Ross as she had married his nephew.
Furthermore, Betsy was also acquainted with the great General
Washington. Not only did they both worship at Christ Church in
Philadelphia, but Betsy's pew was next to George and Martha Washington's
pew. Her daughter recalled, "That she was previously well
acquainted with Washington, and that he had often been in her
house in friendly visits, as well as on business. That she had
embroidered ruffles for his shirt bosoms and cuffs, and that it
was partly owing to his friendship for her that she was chosen
to make the flag."
In June 1776,
brave Betsy was a widow struggling to run her own upholstery business.
Upholsterers in colonial America not only worked on furniture
but did all manner of sewing work, which for some included making
flags. According to Betsy, General Washington showed her a rough
design of the flag that included a six-pointed star. Betsy, a
standout with the scissors, demonstrated how to cut a five-pointed
star in a single snip. Impressed, the committee entrusted Betsy
with making our first flag.