To the Editor:

Re “Honoring the Stars and Stripes: Pulaski Street students observe Flag Day” by Denise Civiletti, June 14, 2019:

Scholars now say that Continental Congressman Francis Hopkinson of New Jersey designed two Stars and Stripes flags: (1) one for the United States with seven white stripes and six red stripes and (2) one for the U.S. Navy with the reverse — seven red stripes and six white stripes for better visibility at sea.

Ironically, Mr. Hopkinson’s naval flag became the preferred national flag. In addition, the reason why Congress did not pay Mr. Hopkinson is because he was a public servant and he was one of the 14 men who designed the Great Seal of the United States — not the U.S. flag. (See the Wikipedia article on Francis Hopkinson.)

Betsy Ross made blue ensigns (naval flags) and narrow, red ship’s pennants for Pennsylvania’a navy during the American Revolution.

After the war, she and her family business made U.S. flags for 50 years. And she did cut five-pointed stars with one snip of the scissors to speed production. Other flag makers used two pieces of cloth for each star. Two crossed triangles made a six-pointed star, and two crossed squares made an eight-pointed star.

Earl P. Williams Jr., U.S. flag historian
Washington, D.C.

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