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The Betsy Ross House

Meet the historic seamstress and learn about her role in creating the American flag...

Photo by M. Kennedy for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

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Did she or didn’t she sew the first American flag?

Visitors can learn about America’s most famous flag maker at The Betsy Ross House , located in Philadelphia’s Historic District.

Wander through the tiny rooms and tight staircases of the circa-1740 residence on a self-guided tour, then talk to Betsy herself about her role in the American Revolution and her fascinating work and life.

The Experience

On the self-guided tour of The Betsy Ross House , guests explore Ross’ upholstery shop, the parlor where she is said to have received the Flag Committee, the bedroom where family legend states that she sewed the first flag and the basement where she made musket cartridges for the Continental Army.

Treasures throughout the home include Ross's family bible, eyeglasses and more.

Family treasures throughout the Betsy Ross House include her family bible (restored in 2019), her eyeglasses and more. Changing exhibits in the gallery offer interesting peeks into rarely seen corners of colonial life.

Audio guides are available, including a special version just for kids, where children learn more about life among the working class in 18th-century Philadelphia while also solving a number of “history mysteries.”

The History

The raging Revolutionary War created many widows. Betsy Griscom Ross Ashburn Claypool ultimately lost three husbands (two during the war), but unlike many widows who were left without resources, her skills as a seamstress enabled her to support herself and her seven children.

Betsy Ross House flag sewing reenactment Betsy Ross House flag sewing reenactment

— Photo by J. Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

Ross died at the age of 84 in 1836. She and her third husband, John Claypoole, are buried in the garden in the courtyard outside her home in Philadelphia’s Historic District .

Events & More

From Memorial Day through Labor Day, kids can help Betsy raise the American flag during a daily hoisting of Old Glory .

Visitors can also meet Phillis , an African American colonial who explains and shows what life was like for a freed Black woman in the 18th century.

And during the summer months, Once Upon A Nation Storytellers entertain in the courtyard during the day.

Check the official site for more info on events as well as information on days and times that Betsy and Phillis are on site.

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