John Blalock

photo/video/instalation

The penultimate star

Went out and had a few beers at the local Irish bar so we all woke up late.  Sean made a fire and I sewed on the last two stars.

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I was really feeling in the Betsy Ross groove, especially when we made a fire in the wood stove.  I wonder if sunny mornings working on flag orders felt kind of like this in a strange sort of way.

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Betsy Ross was not the “society” lady that I had always assumed.  A friend of Washington who came up with this flag idea as a way to dispel the boredom and helplessness felt by a lady unable to do anything else for this cause erupting all around her.  Turns out that is not at all what her life was like.  She was an upholsterer who built her own business and, for a period of time, filled flag orders for the new US government.  She buried three husbands, and a few children too (people seemed to die quite a bit back then) and died nearly broke.

Here’s the actual flag that flew over Fort McHenry and which the Star Spangled Banner was written about.

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This one was not made by Betsy but her shop filled orders for as many as a hundred of these garrison flags (which measure 30′ x 40′).

How breathtaking!  You can see the felled seams and reinforcing stitches in the blue–my guess is to keep the flag from ripping?

Here’s the penultimate version of my sad little flag.  I need to adjust the position of that last little star on the bottom left of the 1.

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Filed under: The Betsy Ross Project, , , , , ,

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