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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sewing (02/22/07)

TITLE: Heavens to Betsy!
By Donna Emery
02/24/07


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You've heard my name but let me tell my story
I wanted everyone to understand
That sometimes its the little things that matter
Even when life doesnt go as planned

John and I both worked for Squire Duncan
We learned from him a trade: to mend and sew
We fell in love and married and were happy
'Til he died in the war two years ago

With dear John gone, I opened a small business
I thank God that we chose this trade to learn
With every stitch I treasure his dear mem'ry
And with this skill, a living I can earn

We were so blessed with friends while we were married
And many statesmen were among John's mates
To my surprise, John's good friend George was chosen
As president of these United States

George and his wife Martha give me business
I mend and sew their clothes, and yet I prayed
To do a greater service for our country
And honor the great sacrifice John made

So, on my knees I asked the Lord for wisdom
And help to use my needle for some good
I truly wished to find my special purpose
Yet I admit I didn't think I could

I only wanted to use what God gave me
To give the gift that I had in my mind
God brought the answer when George came to visit
And told me of a flag that they'd designed

Our brand new country wanted its own banner
Based on the Union Jack but not the same:
Red, white, and blue but where the Jack had crosses
Theyd penciled thirteen stars into the frame

George handed me the plans, and said "Friend Betsy,
I trust you to look over this design.
I've seen the care you take with all your stitches
I know you put your heart in ev'ry line.

"The stars mean we're a brand new constellation
Thats shining bright for freedom in this world
The flag you make will celebrate our country
Whenever this new banner is unfurled"

I thanked the Lord for giving me this honor
And took his detailed sketches in my hand
I vowed to give each stitch my utmost effort
And make a flag to honor our new land

My eyes were misty as I joined its colors:
The red stripes for the blood our heroes shed
This made me think of John and his dear memry
I thought of him with every single thread

Next to each red stripe there was a snowy white one
To stand for innocence and purity
And in the corner, a blue square for justice
And then a new idea came to me

When I looked closely at the plans George gave me
I knew that Id found something I might fix
I thought the stars should be placed in a circle
And each should have five points instead of six

You see, when John was courting me he showed me
A special skill that helped him stand apart
He knew a special way to hold a scissors
Hed cut a five point star in just one start

It charmed me every single time hed do it
Id practiced it til I could do it, too
So with those thirteen stars I did it his way:
Five-pointed stars upon that field of blue

I stitched each star with love and tender memry
I pulled my needle through each seam so tight
My love for John and love for country mingled
When it was done it was a wondrous sight

I gave the flag to George when it was finished
He thanked me for the changes that Id made
He took the flag to show to all the statesmen
And they all cheered when it was first displayed

So now the flag I made is flying proudly
Its brought me lots of trade and even fame
I have more business than my hands can handle
And through the country people know my name

You know my name and now youve heard my story:
How even though I bore a bitter loss
I used my thoughts of John to serve our country
And history will honor Betsy Ross

http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/flagtale.html


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This article has been read 870 times
Member Comments
Member Date
cindy yarger03/01/07
From the title to the last line this was an enjoyable read. Great job and tribute to both the flag and the flag maker.
Donna Howard03/01/07
A great tribute to our God, and a wonderful way to teach history. Nicely done!
Sharlyn Guthrie03/01/07
A very enjoyable telling of this wonderful tale. I can see it as an illustrated children's book.
Betty Castleberry03/06/07
Thsi was really nice, and very original. I'm a sucker for patriotism. Kudos.
Pat Guy 03/06/07
VERY good! I really enjoyed this - it was creative and I LOVED the POV. Kudos to ya girl! I love your title. ;)
Joanne Sher 03/06/07
How awesome! I loved this just as a history lesson - but as a poem I absolutely ADORE it! I'm definitely going to be checking out that link. Fascinating.
Tiffany Secula03/06/07
Amazing!!!!!!!!!
Jan Ackerson 03/06/07
Wonderful! Great title, and a lilting poem.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/06/07
Informative and entertaining and a good poem as well!
Allison Egley 03/06/07
Oh, this was really good! It took me awhile to realize it wasn't the current "George" you were talking about, but I think that actually added to it. It gave it an air(sp?) of mystery. Great job.
Linda Watson Owen03/06/07
What a wonderful story in verse! I love it even more because it's true, a beautiful part of our special history in the U.S. You never once let me as a reader slip away in the course of a long narrative poem, and that is real skill! Great work!!
Julie Arduini03/07/07
Our children in schools today need to experience a history lesson like this. Her story comes alive and I too can't resist a great piece of Americana shared!
Loren T. Lowery03/07/07
Great title. I learned a lot from your verses and enjoyed the lesson. Very creative way to approach the subject.
Clyde Blakely 03/09/07
Thank you, Donna, for putting into verse this great story. God bless.