Nike pulled a line of sneakers, Air Max 1 USA, after Colin Kaepernick reportedly complained that the Betsy Ross flag depicted on the heel of the shoes is an “offensive symbol because of its connection to an era of slavery,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
The ignorance bouncing around in the minds of America’s Left is intolerable. So now, poor Betsy Ross’ name is being dragged through the mud.
Betsy Ross was a great American who worked hard her entire life until she went blind, pulled herself up though being widowed three times, and did her best to live life during the most tumultuous time in our nation’s history. She was a true American unsung heroine.
Born a Quaker in 1752, Elizabeth Griscom was already a fourth-generation American. Her great-grandfather, a carpenter, emigrated to New Jersey from England and shortly thereafter moved to Pennsylvania to join the movement of Quakers. Quakers were opposed to war and marriage outside the faith; however, Betsy defied those constraints and married John Ross, an Episcopal man involved in the local militia.
John was the son of an assistant rector at Philadelphia’s Christ Church, the birthplace of the American Episcopal Church, where fellow worshippers included General George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.
Betsy and John were upholsterer apprentices, and her marriage to John caused her to be disowned by the Quakers. Regardless, the newlyweds opened an upholstery shop and prospered.
According to Historic Philadelphia’s website, the Rosses made bed hangings for General George Washington while he was in Philadelphia for the First Continental Congress in 1774. This is important because many websites today feature historians who consider the idea that Betsy Ross sewed the first real American flag impossible to corroborate and doubt she actually did. However, if the Rosses had George Washington as a client, it is more believable that he would appear two years later with John’s uncle, George Ross, to commission Betsy to make the new American flag.
I choose to believe the affidavit of her daughter given in 1871, describing Betsy’s making of the first flag and many flags thereafter.
The story of Betsy’s life is as intriguing as any in those days of insults and injury to a people who knew they could govern themselves and had to take a stand against the British. In 1774, Americans decried the Intolerable Acts instituted by Great Britain and boycotted British goods, while assembling militias and a network of resistance to the British oppressors.
In 1776, at the age of 24, Betsy became a widow when John was killed while serving in the local militia. In May or June, General George Washington, George Ross, and Robert Morris, known by Betsy to be a secret committee of Congress, the Committee of Three, met with the newly widowed Betsy and commissioned her to make the new American flag.
Betsy later married Joseph Ashburn, a sea captain whose ship was seized by the Brits, and he would die in a British prison. The couple had two girls. A fellow prisoner and family friend, John Claypoole, became Betsy’s third and final husband, whom she married at 31 years of age. They had five more daughters.
All the while, Betsy kept her upholstery business going. She was an entrepreneur, a skilled tradeswoman, and a strong American woman who nurtured her family, not unlike millions of Americans now.
Betsy’s eyesight failed in her later years, perhaps due to the arduousness of sewing by hand her entire life in poor light. She was completely blind for the final three years of her life and died at the age of 84 in 1836.
Betsy Ross has become a legend. She was a friend and fellow churchgoer of General George Washington; she was widowed at the tender age of 24 in a revolution that meant either victory or death for many. Perhaps it was John Ross’ vigor in defending his American way of life that set Betsy against her pacifist community. Perhaps Betsy felt the undying love of country and freedom that so many Americans still feel today.
Here we are in 2019, defending our American way of life against enemies within. The American Left spends most of its time trying to denigrate our nation’s Founding and boiling down years of monumental historical acts to focus solely on the scourge of slavery.
If it were not for the American Revolution, slavery would have existed even longer in this nation. If it were not for the belief as defined in our Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal, slavery would never have been addressed. It is upon the shoulders of the resolute in 1776 that we are able to soar today.
And the people like Kaepernick who are propagating lies to sell their Alinsky agitation are only causing strife to upend that glorious American Revolution.
Fly your flags and remember Betsy Ross this Independence week, Americans, and never give an inch to those seeking to take away the freedom and liberty that so many have died to achieve and defend.
Jen Kuznicki is a contributor to Conservative Review, a blue-collar wife and mom, a political writer, humorist, and conservative activist, a seamstress by trade, and compelled to write. Follow her on Twitter @JenKuznicki.