Richard Peters letter to
George Washington
September 3, 1779

This Richard Peters letter to George Washington was written by Peters, the Secretary of the Board of War, to get General Washington's opinion about the flag for the United States Army. Congress had passed the Flag Resolution of 1777 in June two years earlier, which stated:

Betsy Ross flag

"Resolved, That the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation."

Two years later, the issue was still not resolved, however. Peters also encloses a copy of Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben's reputation for General Washington. Von Steuben was a Prussian military officer who became the Inspector-General and trainer of the United States army. Von Steuben was a close friend of Peters and he and his staff stayed at Peters' family estate, Belmont in Philadelphia.

This letter figures into the discussion of who created the first American flag. Learn more about this question at our Betsy Ross Flag page.

This letter is the second in a series of letters between Peters and Washington about the flag. The other two letters are:

More George Washington Facts here.

Richard Peters letter to George Washington

War Office, September 3, 1779

We send you a copy of Baron Steuben's reputation, which he requested we would get neatly bound and transmit your Excellency. The impossibility of having it done sooner must excuse the delay.

The enclosed Drafts of a Standard for the Army are enclosed for your Approbation, Rejection or Alteration. The Officers will be by and by pressing for Colours and if Materials can be procured they shall be made when you send us your Ideas of the Plan of the Standard. The one with the Union and Emblems in the middle is preferred by us as being variant for the Marine Flag.

We have the honour to be
with the most perfect Respect and Regard
Your obedient servant
Richard Peters

By Order

Red, white & blue bar

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