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Pennsylvania: Keystone State

CAPITAL: Harrisburg
JOINED UNION: December 12, 1787
STATE BIRD: Ruffed Grouse
STATE FLOWER: Mountain Laurel
MEANING OF STATE NAME: Named in honor of Admiral William Penn, father of the state's founder, William Penn
1992 POPULATION: 12,009,361
LAND AREA: 44,820 square miles
ECONOMY: Steel, machinery, agriculture, foods, health
HISTORY: Indians in this area greeted William Penn, who visited in 1861 to found a colony of religious freedom for his fellow Quakers. In turn, Penn included the Indians in his plan for building Philadelphia as a city of "brotherly love," where all would be accepted. Philadelphia has been called the "cradle of liberty," because it was the capital of the Colonies during the Revolution. It is here that states signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the U.S. Constitution in 1787. During the Civil War, Pennsylvania was the site of the terrible, and significant, Battle of Gettysburg. While one of the most industrial and modern of American states, Pennsylvania also is home to the Pennsylvania Dutch, or Amish, who continue to live as their ancestors have for hundreds of years.

Did Betsy Make The Flag? 1777


Was the first American flag bearing stars and stripes designed and sewn by Betsy Griscom Ross of Philadelphia? The legend says George Washington and two others called at the little upholstery shop and asked Mrs. Ross to make a flag. Well, she had never made a flag, she replied, but would give it a try. Betsy examined a rough drawing the men produced and suggested five-pointed stars instead of the six-pointed stars on the drawing. They agreed, and Betsy made the flag.

Aside from the testimony of Ross's descendants, there is no evidence to support this popular story, but we do know that the United States Government gave Ross the contract to make its flags after the first national emblem was adopted on June 14, 1777. She and her family continued in the flag-making business until 1857.


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