The Star Spangled Banner Page

A Chronology of the Star Spangled Banner:

(Smithsonian photo #95-1155/4 by Eric Long)

Looking down from the ceiling of the National Museum of American History at the Star Spangled Banner just inside the museum's Mall entrance.
The Star Spangled Banner, America's most famous flag and a highlight of any visit, is the flag that inspired the national anthem.


How to Cut a 5-Pointed Star in One Snip 

George Washington's original pencil sketch for the flag indicated 6-pointed stars, a form he apparently preferred.

Betsy Ross, however, recommended a 5-pointed star. When the committee protested that it was too difficult to make, she took a piece of paper, folded it deftly, and with a single snip of her scissors, produced a symmetrical five-pointed star. This seeming feat of magic so impressed her audience that they readily agreed to her suggestion.

Here's the secret...

Take a thin piece of paper 8-1/2" x 10" (or an exact proportion thereof), fold it as indicated and cut yourself a perfect 5-pointed star.

Thanks to the Betsy Ross Hose for providing these instructions.

Step 1. Fold an 8-1/2" x 10" piece of paper in half.

Step 2. Fold and unfold in half both ways to form creased center lines. (Note: be sure paper is still folded in half.)

Step 3. Bring corner (1) right to meet the center line. Be sure to fold from the vertical crease line.

Step 4. Bring corner (1) left till edges coincide, then make the fold.

Step 5. Bring corner (2) left and fold.

Step 6. Bring corner (2) right until edges coincide. Then fold.

Step 7. Cut on the angle as shown in the picture. Then unfold the small piece.

Step 8. Marvel at your perfect (we hope!) 5-pointed star! If your star is not perfect, take a fresh piece of paper (8-1/2" x 10" -- not 8-1/2" x 11") and return to Step 1.