'Flag ladies' continue to hand-embroider presidential flags in Philly

Flag Day festivities continue throughout the week

Mike Dougherty
June 14, 2018 - 5:38 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — When George Washington approached Betsy Ross to make a flag, he came with a design in mind.

"They simply thought a six-pointed star would be faster to make."

But Ross knew otherwise. She suggested a five-pointed star instead.

"It requires taking one piece of fabric or paper and making three simple folds and one angled snip."

A small group of women in Philadelphia — dubbed the "flag ladies" from the Defense Logistics Agency — still follow the same steps when embroidering the official presidential and vice presidential flags. 

Linda Farrell, a lifelong seamstress, said it takes three months to make just one.

"Anytime you see the president or vice president speak, and see that eagle [on the flag] behind him, you know it came from right here in Philadelphia," she said at the Betsy Ross House.

And the first ingredient in flag-making: love.

"[It] has the heart and soul of a lady in that flag," she added. "I mean, every eagle on every flag has a personality."