Popular culture has a habit of rewriting history.

Throughout my early years of schooling, I just assumed that everything I read in textbooks was true. As I grew older and began to question what I’d been spoon fed for so many years, I grew to be inquisitive. It was at that point when I realized that I couldn’t just take everything at face value.

Historians are people, too. They make mistakes. And it’s no secret that any story passed between human beings runs the risk of alteration. Like a never-ending game of telephone, the relaying of so-called facts often becomes a jumbled mess of misinformation. To help set the record straight, here are 12 widely accepted historical myths that simply aren’t true.

1. Betsy Ross created the first American flag.

created the first American flag

 

Betsy Ross has long been associated with having crafted the first version of the American flag after being asked by the Continental Congress to do so. Unfortunately, there is no historical evidence that Congress ever formed a committee to create a flag in 1776, and she herself never claimed to sew it. Her grandson was the first to comment on his grandmother’s involvement in the situation.