The Inauspicious Beginning of the American Flag

Many people are unaware of this, but the historic tale of the American flag was not without a few snags. Before we arrived at the “stars and stripes” version we know and love today, the story had a lot of twists and turns.

First American Flag

When Betsy Ross first sewed the the first American flag in history, it was after several versions were under consideration.  It wasn’t until a few problems arose with the other versions that Betsy finally undertook her famous “stars and stripes” edition, which eventually became the symbol for the unification of the American colonies.

Another version that was under consideration looked a lot like the red, white and blue banner of the British.   When George Washington used this version at Prospect Hill, many of his loyalists mistook it for a sign of defeat.  After this, many key members of the Congressional Committee enlisted the help of Betsy Ross.  A personal friend of George Washington in Philadelphia, Mrs. Ross was already running an upholstery shop when the committee presented her with a crude drawing.  She turned this into the very first flag of the United States.

The first American flag was raised on July 4, 1776, the date that is now known as Independence Day.  It is a time when all U.S. citizens celebrate the hard won freedom from British rule.  To this day, whenever the American flag is raised it remains a symbol of the battles that were won in the struggle for independence, and it is an inspiration to American citizens.

The American flag is more than a symbol of American patriotism; it is a symbol of American resolve.  Even in our country’s early darkest days, the sight of the original Betsy Ross American flag has inspired many to remember the strength and commitment to freedom that is within us all, and it continues to inspire many to greatness today.

When it comes to American flags, the bigger the better!

Long a symbol of the sacrifices made for the freedom we enjoy, the American flag means a lot to United States citizens.  The red, white, and blue flies proudly over business, homes, churches, schools, stadiums and public office buildings, but the largest U.S. flags are flown prominently over auto dealerships.  I wasn’t quite sure how this became a trend, so I decided to investigate it for myself.

At first I thought these large outdoor American USA flags were designed to make people feel patriotic about buying a car, or to point out that the cars sold at a particular dealership were American-made, but it seems like neither one of these is true.  Ultimately, most dealers fly large flags overhead because they want to get noticed by passing traffic.

Another popular use for super-sized American flags has been in major sporting events.  This is especially true since the tragic events of September 11, 2001.  It started out in the weeks following 9/11, when the New York Stock Exchange draped a mammoth US flag from the top of the roof to the sidewalk below.  Later, field-sized American flags were used to cover the playing field before a major sporting event like the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

The flags used by Major League Baseball are quite large, at 75 x 150 feet, but they small in comparison to some other flags used at college and professional football games.  Even the organizers of the Superbowl have gotten into the action, as well as auto racing and other American pastimes.

Large American flags bring the allure of patriotism to major sporting events, and when they are unfurled by hundreds of people around the field they can elicit a sense of national pride and optimism from the surrounding crowd.

The Story of the American Flag – Betsy Ross Remembered

The First American Flag—Betsy Ross Sews an Icon
Betsy Ross and George Washington
Americans celebrate their patriotism not only on the 4th of July, but also on holidays of honor and gratitude – from Veteran’s Day, Independence Day, Father’s Day, and Presidents Day to Christmas Day and the welcoming of the New Year. offers authentic flags for all occasions and every size of Old Glory including America’s original American Flag design sewn by Betsy Ross.

In the late 18th century, upholsterers commonly sought extended jobs during wartime such as assembling tents, mending uniforms, and sewing flags. As an upholsterer in Philadelphia by trade, Betsy Ross was commissioned by the Continental Congress to make the first American Flag.

Tourists by the thousands visit the Betsy Ross house each year to see where America’s first flag was stitched. If she could only see her flag now at, a retail flag store, giving reverence to her work and artistry of our country’s greatest icon the American Flag.

Patriots acknowledge certain ideas and concepts about the American dream, and through symbols communicate what inspires loyalty to their country – like the heroic men and women who serve in the Army, Navy, Marine Corp, Air Force and Coast Guard, not to mention:

• The American bald eagle
• The National Anthem
The Pledge of Allegiance
• Fireworks and Parades
• And Betsy Ross’ historical story

As folklore goes, George Washington himself handed Betsy an American flag design straight from his pocket, and that first flag design showed a sketch of 13 stars and 13 stripes. When he asked her if she was up for the challenge she replied, “I do not know, but I will try.” And try she did – history has made much of those famous words when the first American flag was created and flown throughout the country. The 13-star Betsy Ross American flag was made official in June of 1777, and the stars and stripes have represented America ever since. has been selling Betsy’s original American flag design as well as flagpoles and accessories since 1936.