Five seamstresses from Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support’s clothing and textiles supply chain have completed a “Betsy Ross” flag, modeled on the original created during the American Revolution.
Thirteen hand-embroidered stars in a field of blue, next to 13 red and white stripes are symbolic of America’s first flag and Philadelphia’s role in the new nation’s freedom and democracy, Defense Logistics Agency Historian Dr. Harold E. Raugh Jr. said.
Raugh said it was patriotism and pride in Ross’ reported role in making this flag that prompted DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek to request DLA Troop Support’s “flag ladies” recreate the national symbol.
“We are very pleased and honored by the outstanding support rendered by DLA Troop Support and especially by the renowned flag ladies in producing the Betsy Ross flag, this great symbol of American democracy and of Philadelphia,” Raugh said.
The flag measures approximately 3 feet by 6 feet, said Lisa Vivino, who until recently was the branch chief responsible for the flag room. Within a month’s time, Ngoc Phung Thi Le, Nancy Chhim, Linda Farrell and Linh Ho cut, hand embroidered, machine stitched, and ironed the flag, while Hue Nguyen supervised the process. They completed it June 19.
Recreating this flag was a unique request for the flag room, which does not typically make American flags, Vivino said. DLA typically orders and depot-stocks large quantities of the current version of the American flag for its military and federal customers.
“The flag room has never done anything like this before,” Vivino said. “We’ve done all types of battalion and brigade flags, … but we’ve never been in a situation where we actually had to cut strips of fabric and sew them together to create the stripes.”
The seamstresses designed the recreated flag based on available information online and their own expertise, Vivino said.
According to the Historic Philadelphia website, Ross was asked by George Washington and others to make what became the first American flag.
The flag will be framed and displayed at DLA Headquarters in a place of significance and honor, Raugh said.
DLA Troop Support Clothing and Textiles seamstresses Linh Ho (left), Linda Farrell (center) and Nancy Chhim put the final touches on a recreated ‘Betsy Ross’ flag in Philadelphia June 19. The ladies represent three out of five Flag Room employees who were tasked with recreating the first American flag, which will be displayed at DLA Headquarters. Photo by Mikia Muhammad