April 8, 1924.
Dear Miss Addams:
At the instance of Admiral William S. Sims, U.S. Navy; General Amos A. Fries, U.S. Army; and General George C. Rickards, National Guard, -- the three Incorporators of The United States Flag Association recently incorporated the organized under the laws of the District of Columbia, -- I am writing to advise you that at a meeting of the Incorporators held in Washington yesterday you were selected as one of the Thirteen Original Members constituting the Board of Founders of the Association.
According to the Constitution and By-Laws, the first thirteen members to join the Association shall typify the Thirteen Original States symbolized by the thirteen stripes of the Flag, and shall be known as the Board of Founders, -- these members to be selected by the Incorporators from amongst well-known, typical Americans.
The position of a Member of the Board of Founders is an Honorary one imposing no duty or obligation of any kind, and we feel sure you will do the Association the honor of accepting.
In the interest of lofty Americanism, sturdy patriotism, and good citizenship which shall make stronger and more secure the foundations of this Republic established on the principles of freedom, equality, justice and humanity, the aims and purposes of The United States Flag Association shall be --
To bring into proper consideration and appreciative regard by the citizenry of the Country the Flag of the United States as the visible, symbolic representation of our National sovereignty, ideals, traditions, and institutions.
To quote from the Constitution and By-Laws of the Association:
This Association shall be strictly non-partisan politically, religiously, and racially, and neither its name nor its influence shall ever be used, directly or indirectly, in furtherance or hindrance of partisan politics, religion, or race.
The need for an organization like The United States Flag Association, -- which is the first of its kind, -- the ways of accomplishing it aims, and so forth, are set forth in detail in the accompanying Memorandum.
As explain in the [enclosed] Memorandum, for the big and complete [page 2] success of the high, lofty and far-reaching objects of The United States Flag Association, it is indispensable not only that those organizing and sponsoring the movement shall be well-known, typical Americans of the highest type, -- men and women whose names and prestige shall command respect and inspire confidence in our people, -- but they should also typify the basic principles and ideals for which the Flag stands.
Therefore, for the reasons indicted, the persons whose names follow were selected as the Incorporators, and they, in turn, selected you and the other prominent, typical Americans named below, as the Thirteen Original Members constituting the Board of Founders of The United States Flag Association:
(Three in number, symbolizing the three colors of the Flag, -- red, white, and blue.)
It is, indeed, fitting that the Incorporators should be prominent officers of the Navy, the Army and the National Guard, -- our first, second and third lines of organized National Defense -- the three elements upon which the Nation must, in all emergencies, depend to defend the Flag. Therefore, the following well-known Admiral and prominent Generals were selected to incorporate The Unites States Flag Association:
Admiral William S. Sims, U.S. Navy. (Commanded the U.S. Naval Forces operating in European Waters during the World War. Probably [best-known] Naval officer now living, whose sturdy and fearless Americanism is well known to the American people.)
General Amos A. Fries, U.S. Army, Chief Chemical Warfare Service. (Because of his writings, speeches and other activities in connection with patriotic matters, there is no Army officer today who is better and more favorably known amongst the American people as an exponent of Americanism.)
General George C. Rickards, National Guard, Chief of Militia Bureau. (General Rickards, who is our best known National Guard officer, has devoted much of his life to the building of patriotic spirit and the observance of principles for which the Flag stands, and is widely known because of his writings and public addresses. For forty-seven (47) years his connection with the National Guard has been unbroken.) [page 3]
(2) BOARD OF FOUNDERS
(Thirteen in number, typifying the 13 stripes of the Flag.)
(a) Members of all political parties are one and the same in the eyes of the Flag -- they are all American citizens with equal rights. Hence, an ex-Republican President, Chief Justice William Howard Taft, and a thrice Democratic Candidate for the Presidency, Mr. William Jennings Bryan, have been asked to head the Board of Founders.
(b) The Flag does not differentiate between religions. Every man is given the freedom to choose his own religion and practice it according to his own conscience. Therefore, the following prominent leaders of the Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant faiths have been requested to join Mr. Taft and Mr. Bryan as members of the Board of Founders:
(c) The Flag discriminates against no race, all men, in the eyes of the Flag, being created equal. Hence, Dr. Robert R. Moton, who succeeded Booker T. Washington as head of the Tuskegee Institute, and who is generally regarded as one of the leading Negroes in this Country, has been asked to be one of the members of the Board of Founders.
(d) The Flag recognizes all points of the compass. To the Flag, the North, the South, the East and the West are all the same. Therefore, the following well-known Americans have been asked to represent on the Board of Founders, the North, the South, the East and the West, respectively:
(e) The Flag draws no distinction between men and women. Both are included in the ideals, traditions, and institutions for which the Flag stands. Therefore, Miss Jane Addams has been asked to represent the women of the Nation on the Board of Founders.
(f) In the sight of the Flag, Capital and Labor enjoy the same rights, the same privileges; they have the same obligations, the same responsibilities, both being equally subject to the laws of the Land. Hence, Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and Mr. Samuel Gompers, typifying Capital and Labor, respectively, have been asked to join the other members of the Board of Founders. [page 4]
(3) NATIONAL COUNCIL
(Forty-eight in numbers typifying the 48 stars on the Flag).
After completion of the organization of the Board of Founders, the Governor of every State of the Union will be asked to serve on the National Council.
(4) HONORARY PRESIDENT
After the organization of the Board of Founders and the National Council has been completed, the President of the United States will be asked to accept the Honorary Presidency of the Association.
As you have doubtlessly noted, the personnel of the Board of Founders represents the greatest possible diversity of religious, political, and other belief. This is intentional, the idea being to show not only to our own people, but also to the world at large that while Americans may differ amongst themselves in politics, religion, and other matters, when it comes to the Flag of the United States and the things for which the Flag stands, they are one and inseparable.
The Incorporators are anxious that The United States Flag Association shall be a going concern by Flag Day, June 14, only about eight weeks hence. Time is, therefore, an important factor, -- so, it is requested that as soon as possible you kindly advise me by wire, collect, whether you will honor the Association by accepting election as one of the Thirteen Original Members constituting the Board of Founders.
With the assurance, my dear Miss Addams, of my highest regard and esteem, I beg to remain,
Jas. A. Moss [signed],
P.S. The Incorporators desire me to say that an expression of opinion from you regarding the aims and purposes of The United States Flag Association would be greatly appreciated.