See stars and stripes at the Betsy Ross House

Explore one of Philadelphia’s most popular tourist attractions. The Betsy Ross House is often considered to be the home of the American flag. As a local seamstress and upholsterer, legend has it that Ross stitched together the first ever ‘star spangled banner’ under orders from George Washington himself.

Hop-off the Philadelphia bus tour right outside the door. Wander through the house, jam packed full of period antiques – preserved more or less as it would have been when Betsy lived here.

A history of the flag

Betsy Ross lived at the house at 239 Arch Street in the 1770s. It’s thought she made the first flag here in 1777. It was in June of that year that Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the fledgling nation and Betsy was commissioned to stitch the prototype.

Other interesting facts about the Betsy Ross House

  • Betsy lost two husbands during the conflict with the British which led to her becoming a wartime heroine
  • Several variants of the US flag were made and existed at the same time before a final version was settled upon
  • The Betsy Ross House is thought to have been built in around 1740 in the Pennsylvania colonial style
  • The legend that Betsy made the first flag was in large part spread by her grandsons William and George Canby at the centennial celebrations of 1876
  • Ross is thought to have lived in the house from 1776 to 1779, the year her first husband John Ross died.