The following quote is transcribed from:
Standards and Colors of the American Revolution
Edward W. Richardson
The University of Pennsylvania Press & The Pennsylvania Society Sons of the Revolution and its Color Guard
A national standard for the Army was apparently not established until late in the war. The thirteen-stars-and-stripes flag resolution of June 14, 1777 originated in the Marine Commitee of the Continental Congress and was probably intended primarily for ships. As late as September 3, 1779, the War Office wrote to Washington inquiring about a proper design for a standard for the Army that would be a "variant" from the marine flag. Washington replied that he preferred "the Union and Emblems in the Center...with...the Number of the Regiment and the State...within the curve of the Serpent..."
Individual American land force units were not officially authorized to carry the stars and stripes along with their regimental or battalion colors until 1834. At that time the artillery received such authorization followed by the infantry in 1841. Some Revolutionary army units, however, did carry a stars and stripes, as evidenced by Major John Ross's sketch of the Order of Battle for General Sullivan's army, dated July 30, 1779.
(link included to John Ross Sketch)
Also at Yorktown, in 1781, the American forces hoisted a large blue-and-red stripe flag with a blue canton with stars, according to an on-the-spot sketch by British Lt. Col John Graves Simcoe---(shown directly below).
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