Home » Society and Culture

American History Through The Eye Of A Needle ~ Part V

Aug 17, 2007
For more than a year British ships had blockaded Boston and British troops had occupied the hungry city. Americans had fought and died at Lexington, at Concord, on Breed's Hill and at Charleston. The Green Mountain men had taken Ticonderoga.

British armies were coming down the Hudson and a British war fleet with troopships was nearing New York harbor when at last, losing all hope of freedom with peace, the gentlemen of the Continental Congress soberly risked their lives, dipping a quill pen in an inkhorn and signing their Declaration.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain un-alienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness... We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America... appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States."

They denied the Old World's ancient, traditional, never-before-rejected belief that human beings are born members of classes, low class to work or upper class to rule. With nothing but certainty of this truth, they faced the oncoming military forces of the British Empire, strongest of the world's Great Powers. They had no ally, no army, no money; in the scattered colonies the people lacked gunpowder for their muskets.

They had not even a flag. They were devising their symbols of freedom: the Pine Tree flag of Massachusetts; Carolina's Rattlesnake coiled under its defiance, "Don't Tread on Me"; New York's Beaver. The Continental Congress appointed General George Washington to raise and command the Continental Army. An army in battle must have a flag.

In Philadelphia three rebel leaders hurriedly conferred: General George Washington, the planter; General George Ross, the prosperous merchant; Robert Morris, the rich financier. General Ross thought that his nephew's widow, Mistress Betsy Ross, might make a flag. They walked to her little upholstery shop on Arch Street.

She never had made a flag, she said; of course she would try. She studied their hasty sketch and said that, for her part, she would not choose six-pointed stars; five-pointed stars would make a pattern more to her taste. They thought that five-pointed stars were too difficult to make.

Mistress Betsy took a bit of paper, deftly folded it, and with one snip of her scissors made a five-pointed star. General Washington accepted it with no more words. The gentlemen said they would send her a colored sketch at once.

A breathless messenger brought it, drawn and colored by the renowned artist, William Barrett. Mistress Betsy threaded her needle and made the flag. She made it of patchwork: thirteen five-pointed stars set into a blue square, thirteen strips of red and white sewed together. Clear, gay colors, white for purity, red for courage, blue for faith; stars for light, and straight lines to ripple strong and free against the sky. This was the tradition of American patchwork, and this is what Mistress Betsy's grandchildren and their grandchildren, and theirs, would tell of the making of the star-spangled banner.

In the tradition of American patchwork she made the flag that stands today, with its fifty stars, for the inalienable liberty and human rights of every human being, the flag of the Revolution that already has carried the New World far around this earth and some day will help banish the last tyranny and free all mankind.
About the Author
John Wigham has been a professional author and editor for 20 years and is a co-founder of Patterns Patch an online cross stitch club dedicated to counted cross stitch. The website has a small team of writers who are devoted to our cross stitch club and enjoy writing about their hobby.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 144
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources