By 1775, the snake symbol wasn’t just being printed in newspapers. It was appearing all over the colonies: on uniform buttons, on paper money, and of course, on banners and flags.
The snake symbol morphed quite a bit during its rapid, widespread adoption. It wasn’t cut up into pieces anymore. And it was usually shown as an American timber rattlesnake, not a generic serpent.
Distinguished by its alternating red-and-white stripes and thirteen white stars arranged in a circle on a blue canton, the Betsy Ross Flag is one of the earliest recognized designs of the American flag.
In use since 1777, the flag is named for Philadelphia upholsterer and flag maker Elizabeth “Betsy” Ross, but its true origins remain up for debate.