Until July 4th approached, I didn’t know there were doubts that Betsy Ross created our first American flag. The Betsy Ross Facts website says, “Of all famous American Revolutionary women in history, the woman who stands out as an icon is Betsy Ross. Although there is no actual historical evidence, she is widely regarded as the person who sewed the very first American Flag. A patriotic symbol, such as a flag, was just what the American colonists needed as a symbol to help unite them during the War for Independence.”
What? Further research took me to a site stating, “The main reason historians and flag experts do not believe that Betsy Ross designed or sewed the first American flag is a lack of historical evidence and documentation…. No records show that the Continental Congress had a committee to design the national flag in the spring of 1776.”
For now, it seems the true creator of America’s first flag remains a mystery.
The person who designed our 50-star American flag is Robert G. Heft, age 17 in 1958 in Ohio when he created the design for a high school project and received a B−. (Some teachers grade hard.)
In 1927, Alaska held a flag design competition. The chosen winner to represent the future flag of the Territory of Alaska was Benny Benson, a 13-year-old Alaskan Native living in a children’s home in Seward. His eight gold stars on a field of blue showed the Big Dipper constellation lined up with the North Star overhead, representing the northernmost state. Until then, since its purchase from Russia in 1867, Alaska had flown only the U.S. flag.
Since its confederation in 1867, Canada’s flag had resembled Britain’s Union Jack until their 1965 national competition selected the Maple Leaf suggested by University of Toronto student, George F. G. Stanley. However, see
https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/10/16/canadian-flag-designs-photos_n_4109726.html for other great flag designs that got cut.
What does it take to create a flag, emblem, or motto to successfully steer our ship of state? Do you have a family crest or flag? If you were to modify our U.S. (or any) flag, what change would you make. Why?
The coat of arms on Mexico’s flag represents an ancient legend for how the Aztecs chose the site to build their capital city, Tenochtitlan, (Mexico City today). The leader of the Aztecs, also known as the Mexica, had a dream with their god of war instructing them to settle in the place where they found an eagle on a cactus eating a serpent, and they did.
If you were to change your nation’s flag, explain what you would modify and why. Meanwhile, enjoy a wonderful May 5th, July 1st, July 4th, and every day!