While myriad early designs could have been selected for our national ensign, such as the Gadsden’s coiled rattlesnake, the Cruisers’ evergreen, or the Bedford’s brandishing arm, it is good that we decided on Betsy Ross’s elegant assemblage of stars and bars. The greatest flags are also the simplest. A child should be able to draw one from memory alone.
The extent of Ross’s involvement in the design and creation of the American flag, like so many historical matters, is up for debate. The current trend is to take accomplishments popularly assigned to historical figures away from them.“Columbus didn’t discover the New World. Edison stole the lightbulb. Michael Jackson didn’t invent the moonwalk.” We say to hell with all of that – put people on pedestals, and give Ross full credit. Let people feel inspired!
Interestingly, by one account the founding fathers had initially asked Ross to include six-pointed stars on the flag. She elected to depict five-pointed stars instead, simply because they are easier to embroider. Ross’s time-saving move inadvertently spared us from God only knows how many internet conspiracists’ ramblings.
This comfortable and easy-breathing gray T-shirt is subtle patriotism at its finest. In a pleasing pattern it depicts Ross’s original 13-star circles, as well as the ones with“III” and“76” placed within them. If you’re from one of the 13 states that first ratified the Constitution, you can take especial pride while wearing this shirt. Just don’t be snotty to Vermonters for coming in late.