Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Mystery of the Stars and Stripes

On this date in 1777, the Second Continental Congress officially adopted the original 13-star version of the United States Flag. Not surprisingly, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation in 1916 that officially declared today as Flag Day, although not technically an official Federal holiday. The state of Pennsylvania, however, decided to declare it a legal, state holiday in 1937. Of course, the Stars and Stripes and Pennsylvania are forever intertwined as the flag's origins date back to the state itself. As popular legend goes, the Philadelphia seamstress, Betsy Ross, is credited with sewing the first flag.

This brings us to yet another anniversary. On this date in 1937, in conjunction with the declaration of Flag Day as a state holiday in Pennsylvania, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia opened its doors to the general public. Today, the house is still welcoming tourists from around the world, although it has a few mysteries of its own. Aside from reports of paranormal encounters, the restless burials (plural) of Ross herself, there are now questions of the role the woman, now called America's Seamstress, played in the creation of the American Flag. Did someone else design the flag or is Ross the victim of conspiracy theories?

Pay a visit to her house and decide for yourself.

-Casey H.

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