1752-1836. Philadelphia seamstress/upholsterer who is supposed to have sewn the first U.S. flag in May or June 1776. Legend has it that George Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross, uncle of Betsy's late husband, came from the Continental Congress to her business with a rough design for the flag which used six-pointed stars; Betsy showed them that it was quite easy to fold cloth so that she could cut out five-pointed stars, and these were chosen to be used on the final flag.

This story was made public in 1870 by Betsy's grandson, who was 11 when she died; three other relatives swore in affidavits that she had told them the same story. There really isn't any evidence from the time it was supposed to have happened. However, there isn't terribly firm evidence against it either. The official design of the U.S. flag was not adopted by the Continental Congress until June 14, 1777 (the date is the origin of Flag Day). So any earlier flag makers were not acting on a commission from the whole Congress; that does not mean that the official design did not confirm one that was already in use.

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