Celebrating the 4th of July is important to me and others in the United States of America. Each country has special celebrations based on their own history. Ours is declaring independence from England, a treasonous act that could have brought death to each of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Having an ancestor, Lieutenant Colonel Cornelius Ludlow (who was in charge of General Washington’s rear guard on the move to Valley Forge), it is a doubly important day to me. Unfortunately, a lot of revisionist history has been given out recently. That is a disservice to the memory of those who set the foundation for our nation. Yes, there were actions some of our forefathers did that were not good. But they set the stone in motion that would eventually lead to the emancipation of slaves and the various civil rights that have been put into law more recently.
Two examples of people who were anti-slavery at the time of the American Revelation were Betsy Ross and Edward Coles. Betsy Ross was the creator of the first flag of the United States. Edward Coles is a cousin of one of my ancestors and freed the slaves he inherited.
Betsy Ross grew up as a Quaker, which was opposed to slavery and helped Pennsylvania become the first state to outlaw slavery. Many Presidents, including Barack Obama, used the Betsy Ross flag in their ceremonies.
As you can see by the above picture, the Betsy Ross flag was not controversial at Barack Obama’s Inauguration. He used it to show the heritage of our United States. Betsy Ross was not a slave owner. By all indications, she opposed slavery.
Growing up, I heard the story of Edward Coles long before I knew his name. My mother would tell me about how a group of descendants of freed slaves heard about one of her cousins medical needs and offered support to my mother’s cousin to help him through his struggles. Slavery is wrong. The original Betsy Ross flag shows a field of blue with thirteen stars in a circle. This represents the equality of opportunity for all citizens of the United States. I wish all those who celebrate a wonderful fourth of July. I wish everyone all the freedom and opportunity that you desire.
Happy 4th of July!