The Instigator
DanT
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
Debater88
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Betsy Ross designed the American Flag

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
DanT
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/14/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,240 times Debate No: 34781
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

DanT

Con

In honor of Flag day, I decided to start this debate.

Rules:
1.) No Ad Hominem Attacks
2.) Dismissed arguements will be considered dropped

Debate Format:
1st round: acceptance only
2nd round: Arguements / no rebuttals
3rd round: Rebuttals / no arguements
4th round: Defense against rebuttals & closing remarks / no new arguements or rebuttals
Debater88

Pro

According to the traditional account, the original flag was made in June 1776, when a small committee"including George Washington, Robert Morris and relative George Ross"visited Betsy and discussed the need for a new American flag. Betsy accepted the job to manufacture the flag, altering the committee's design by replacing the six-pointed stars with five-pointed stars.

(Wikapedia)
Debate Round No. 1
DanT

Con


Debate Format Violations


Pro violated the Debate’s format. Round 1 is acceptance only.



Flag Timeline


During the 1760’s the sons of Liberty used a striped flag, known as “the rebellious stripes”. They consisted of 9 vertical stripes. The 9 stripes represented the 9 colonies who attended the stamp act congress in 1765.




After the 2nd continental congress met in 1775, the sons of liberty started using a flag with 13 horizontal stripes, to represent the13 colonies. (1)



When the continental army was formed in 1775, George Washington was appointed Commander-in-chief of the continental army. Washington was not given an official standard, so he decided to create his own. Washington created a blue fly, with 13 six pointed stars. The stars were supposed to be “a new constellation” representing the formation of the United States. (2)



In 1775 the first Naval Ensign was used, which replaced the solid red fly of the Royal Navy with the rebellious stripes. In 1776, on New Years, Washington hoisted the Naval Ensign at Prospect Hill, near his headquarters in Cambridge. Due to its similarities with the flag of the East India Trading Company, the British assumed the Colonists were surrendering. It has since been named the Cambridge flag, due to its association with this event. (3)



In 1777 Francis Hopkinson designed the American Flag, not Betsy Ross, by replacing the British Flag in the canton, with Washington’s standard.(4)



Flag etiquette


During the revolutionary war, there was no proper flag etiquette. The stars could be arranged in any order, and the colors did not matter. The 6 pointed stars and the 5 pointed stars was simply a matter of personal preference. The 5 pointed stars were more popular because most people believed the 6 pointed stars were “too European”. (5)



Betsy Ross


The Betsy Ross Legend dates back to 1870, when Betsy’s grandson claimed that in 1776 Washington approached Betsy with the proposal of Hopkinson’s 6 point star design. William Canby, Betsy’s grandson, than claimed that Betsy Ross suggested the 5 point star.


There are numerous holes in Canby’s story. One such hole, is that the Hopkinson design was proposed in 1777 not 1776. Another hole is that there are no records of a committee to design a national flag. There were records of committees formed to design naval flags, but no records for a national flag.


The entire story was based around William Canby’s claim that he heard it from his grandmother. The story is complete hearsay, with no historical evidence to support it. (6)




  1. http://www.crwflags.com...

  2. http://www.crwflags.com...

  3. http://www.crwflags.com...

  4. http://www.crwflags.com...

  5. http://www.crwflags.com...

  6. http://www.crwflags.com...

Debater88

Pro

But George Washington approached Betsy Ross and asked to make the flag. She changed the six pointed stars and put 5 pointed stars. Ross put 13 stars for the 13 colonies.
Debate Round No. 2
DanT

Con


Lack of Historical Evidence


There is no historical evidence for the Betsy Ross Story. The Betsy Ross's Grandson, William Canby, fabricated the story in 1870. The Betsy Ross story was a post-civil war myth, fabricated by William Canby. The entire Betsy Ross story is based on 3rd generation hearsay. It’s a nice story, but it is historically inaccurate.


The only person ever to claim responsibility for the flag’s design, during the first generation, was Francis Hopkinson. Hopkinson sent a bill to congress, for the designing the flag.


Holes in the Timeline


There are some holes in the timeline. For one, the Hopkinson flag was created in 1777, while the Betsy Ross story claims that it existed in 1776. This leads to another important error, which is the basis of the story. The story goes that Betsy Ross proposed replacing Hopkinson’s 6 pointed stars, with 5 pointed stars. In reality the 6 pointed stars were used just as frequently as the 5 pointed stars, but fell out of favor, because they were considered too European.



The Stripes claim


Like the colors of the flag, the number of stripes was not considered important. While the flag act of 1777 did establish specific colors and the use of 13 stripes, the stripes and colors still widely varied. The colors and number of stripes were not considered important, but rather the meaning of the stripes was what was considered important. The stripes originate from the sons of liberty, and symbolized liberty and representative government. The 13 stripes were used as far back as 1775, a year prior to the supposed Betsy Ross event.



Summary


The Betsy Ross story is historically inaccurate. There is no evidence to support the claim, and the dates don’t match up. The story was fabricated by Betsy Ross’s grandson, 94 years after the fact. If anyone designed the flag, it would be Francis Hopkinson.


Debater88

Pro

Debater88 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
DanT

Con

Pro forfeited the 3rd round, so there no rebuttals to defend against.
Debater88

Pro

Debater88 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
DanTDebater88Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Even before the FF, this was a weak debate. Citing wiki and not making a case, whereas pro made a strong case with sources (not reviewing the sources except the pictures).
Vote Placed by TheHitchslap 4 years ago
TheHitchslap
DanTDebater88Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: FF