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The Forgotten Legacy

By , Elkhorn, WI
The Forgotten Legacy


It was a brisk, dew-filled, May morning when Betsy Ross was assigned the creation of the first ever flag for the Colonies. Most of the Colonists thought that the king was a disgrace to Great Britain and taxed the people way too much. After the Colonists had enough of the king, the people cried to the government to start a war which would allow them break away from England. The government at this time, led by John Adams, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin, finally gave in and decided that they had enough. That’s when Betsy was called to create a flag just for the United States.This is what she created the “Betsy Ross” flag. This flag is the one we know with the circular star pattern in the upper left corner. Later on when she was finished and she got approval among the Founding Fathers they took the flag and decided to hang it up on the battle that was already going on in Concord. There the Colonies showed it off with of their pride. By doing this they filled the Redcoats with irritation and fury. “What a disgrace to the king,” shouted the loyalists.
Later on, when the U.S. was forced to retreat back, the British took control of the flag and took turns spitting at it with disgrace. They then disposed of it by throwing it in a dusty old attic. The colonists found a reason to fight: their inspiration was taken by their enemy. They must avenge it.



Many years later, when the colonies had finally received its independence from the king of England, they cheered and paraded with joy and thankfulness. People were singing with pride and dignity and the only thing missing was the flag.
In 1802 and a family of four moved into the house containing the flag.The family was very poor and had two children with another one on the way. The little daughter’s name were Mary Anne. She was an adventurous little nine year old girl and was daring to do anything. The other child’s name was Josiah, he worked hard for his family on the farm. He even had a second job at a blacksmith shop just to support his family. The first thing the ambitious little daughter wanted to do was to explore the attic. Up there in the attic, she found crates and boxes of old, dusty crates full of clothing from the 1700’s. Finally, with only one crate left she opened it and to her surprise she found the first ever American flag. She gazed in amazement and ran down the stairs yelling,” Mommy, Papi looked what I found.” At this point the flag was aged with a yellow tinge that covered the beautiful cloth no to mention the dust which was piled on. At first the parents couldn’t recognise it with all of the dust on it.After they blew it off they were disappointed only thinking it was just a flag.
“What's the big deal Mary? It’s just a flag,” hollered Papa James.
“It is?” asked Mary Anne.
“Yep, too bad to because we had our hopes up” replied Papa.
The ailing family needed money because of the arrival of the next baby so they went to their nearest pawn shop and sold it for only four dollars. The young, untrained, store clerk didn’t know anything about history let alone the story of the first ever flag.
Later when the manager was checking his inventory he stared at the flag knowing something was suspicious. Then it hit him, this was the first ever American flag. He knew this could sell for a lot of money at an auction, but he knew that he had to do the right thing and to give it to the government. When the government had it inspected by experts, they found out that was actually the first ever American flag. From there, historians preserved it so all generations can see it. So, they put it in a glass case and sent it to Philadelphia where it was created.
In fact, to this day it still remains in that glass case at Arch street where they believe Betsy Ross created it. Its held in a museum with special lighting to conserve it while it lasts. Many people walk past it thinking ”It’s just a flag”. People today don’t understand the true meaning of things. It might still just be a “flag” but to the colonists; it was a motivation,a symbol. It was an inspiring sign to fight for what you believe in, the independence that we take for granted.
So, the next time you recite the “National Anthem,” think about the hardships the Colonists had to go through.All the struggles they had to overcome, and to persevere through those moments of not knowing what’s next, but knowing to fight for all generations to come. All of those hard-earned battles are represented in the flag. That way we will never forget how we got here and the legacy that came with it.



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