The Many Flags of Texas

The Lone Star State has a proud heritage, being the only US state to have once been an indepenent nation. However, as I did a little more research, I was fascinated by the different flags Texas used throughout its revolutionary history.

The most famous Texas flag, is of course, the Lone Star Flag. This iconic design was adopted on January 25, 1839 as the official national flag of the Republic of Texas. It continued on as the state flag when Texas joined the Union in 1845.

However, during Texas”s formative years, as they struggled to gain freedom from Spain and Mexico, there were several different revolutionary flags used to inspire its citizens. I”ve picked a few of my favorites to highlight.

The Lone Star and Stripes Flag – used primarily by the Texas Navy through the time of the Texas Revolution up until annexation. Its ressemblance to the United States flag gave an added benefit of protection for those ships flying this flag in coastal waters. There is also evidence that the Lone Star

and Stripes was used at the battles of Goliad, the Alamo, and San Jacinto.

 

 

The Come and Take It Flag – created by the people of Gonzalez, Texas featuring the image of the town cannon Mexican forces had demanded they turn over. In 1831, the Mexican Army had given a small cannon to the town to protect them against Commanche raids. Over the next four years, however, the political situation in Mexico deteriorated, and they demanded their cannon back to deal with the revolts. Texians gathered to battle the dragoons sent to reclaim the cannon and were successful. The Battle of Gonzalez was a small, insignificant skirmish, but it became the first battle of the Texas Revolution and inspired countless Texians to make a stand against Mexico.

 

 

The Alamo Flag –  Historians doubt that this flag actually flew over the Alamo during the famous battle, but it came to represent what the Battle of the Alamo stood for – Freedom. This flag was used when Texas was still Coahuila y Tejas, a Mexican state fighting for freedom from Spanish rule. Most likely it derived its name as the Alamo Flag from the persistent belief that it was raised during that famous battle, even though there is no evidence to support the claim. Davy Crockett”s journal clearly states that the Lone Star and Stripes flag was what had been raised.

 

  • So what do flags mean to you? Patriotism, state pride?
  • Do you ever fly flags for personal events in your lives? I remember after the birth of our first child, my mother-in-law planted a pink flag in our yard bolding proclaiming that we had just welcomed a little girl to our family.
  • Do you have flags in your home for decoration or commemoration of a loved one? The sure are powerful symbols, aren”t they?

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For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She is an avid cross-stitcher, and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at: www.karenwitemeyer.com.

22 thoughts on “The Many Flags of Texas”

  1. Hi Karen, I’m up late. My family hasn’t had a flag at our house since WWII for my brother’s who were in the service. They were more like a star than flag.
    My state flag is a Bear and not too many fly this outside of Sacramento. But we have the U.S. flag all over. I feel good seeing it flying. I don’t like seeing it worn as a shirt or other clothing. To me that is not patriotic.
    Very interesting about your flag, though.
    Hugs

  2. Don’t you just love the attitude surrounding that cannon flag!

    I have flown a flag in past years at our old house, but the one we live in now has too many trees to allow one. Instead, I have a metal flag in my flower garden.

    Each year on the day before Memorial Day, Boy Scouts put flags on the grave of each soldier at the cemetery where my dad is buried. There are thousands of small American flags flapping in the breeze, and it’s quite a sight to behold.

  3. The Canadian Flag and the Flag for the Province of Ontario mean pride in land of my birth and for the province where I reside.
    We have a Canadian Flag on the house and a new one goes up every July 1st on Canada Day…
    Our Flag in my town have all been at half-mast this week, for a Police Officer that was killed while on duty. This is not a site I like to see too often.

  4. Hi, Vickie! Yes, there is something just so daring and “in your face” about that Goliad flag. Especially since they had no way of knowing how man dragoons would be sent to fetch the cannon.

    What a wonderful thing the boys scouts do in your area. When my father passed, my mom was adament about having an American flag at his grave. He didn’t serve in the military, but he loved his country.

  5. Hi, Kathleen. I love the Canadian maple leaf. The image is so simple yet so striking. I love that you demonstrate your patriotism with a new flag every year. In my neighborhood, there are many people who fly US flags for several of our holidays – 4th of July, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, etc. I love seeing all those flags on display. It warms my heart every time.

  6. Love the story about the people defending their cannon, Karen.
    Because my dad was a WWII veteran, the American Legion (all old men in that little town)presented our family with a folded flag. Since my mom was gone, it went to me as the oldest child. I treasure it but have never unfolded it because I don’t know if I could get it back the way it was.

  7. I have one of those banner flags, that hang straight down, that I put on my dad’s gravesite over Memorial Day. He was a veteran of the Korean War.
    We also have a Cornhusker Flag for game days but I forget to put it out. (I don’t forget to watch the games)

    btw we live so far out that the only person who ever seens any decorative flourishes on my house is….my husband. And he’s not real interested. So it’s a little hard to work on stuff like that. Even I usually don’t see them because I’m the only one who puts it out and of course they’re not out when I come driving in. although I can step back and look after I put them out.

  8. Elizabeth – I’ve seen those triangular folded flags framed and mounted on walls. I wonder if you could do something like that. What a precious momento!

    Mary – It’s hard to work up the effort to decorate when no one is going to see, isn’t it? Who knows, maybe the cows would enjoy that Cornhusker flag. As long as they aren’t Longhorns. Ha! 😉

  9. Hi Karen – love the flags!! Yes, they mean pride to me and love of country. I fly our national flag every day. Someone stole our flag once, right before Independence Day and I thought, who would do that? We went right out and put another one up. Those tiny flags at cemeteries touch my heart in so many ways.

  10. I love to see a flag flying, any flag will do but the Stars and Stripes makes my heart swell with pride. My father fought in WWll. He carried a small piece of scrapnel in his back the rest of his life so he lived with a daily reminder. I have the flag that draped his coffin. It was a wonderful ceremony when they salute a vet. It now is in one of the triangular boxes and sits above my computer surrounded by other memories of my mom and dad.

  11. Love your blog, Karen. Flags, especially the U.S.A and the Texas one, really put a lump in my throat. I’m so proud to live in America and Texas. I can’t see a flag without thinking about all the men and women who died so it can fly. And when they raise our flag at the Olympics I always get big tears in my eyes. Our flag means sacrifice and freedom. It makes me so mad when I see people burning it or spitting on it.Thanks for such a good blog.

  12. Charlene – I LOVE that you fly the US flag every day. That’s fabulous. I can’t believe someone would steal it from you right before Independence Day. That’s awful! So glad you didn’t let it get you down and went right out and got that replacement.

  13. Hi, Connie. There’s nothing quite so touching as a flag especially to homor a loved one who paid our country such tribute by serving in our military. How wonderful that you have that flag to treasure and remember.

  14. Linda – Those flag ceremonies at the Olympics get me every time. We have a Parade of Flags as part of our university openning ceremonies where students are chosen to carry the flags in from their respective state or country. Our band plays the olympic fanfare as they all march in. We have a large international contingent, so there tons of flags. But of course, the Texas flag gets the biggest cheer!

  15. Thanks for the quick Texas flag lesson. I wasn’t aware of the other flags used in the state.
    We fly the American flag at all times. It is lit at night as it should be. We have an Air Force flag my husband would like to fly, but we need a bigger flag pole. That will come some day, but there are many other projects on the honey-do list – both his and mine – that will come first.

  16. Great blog, Karen; and as you know, I’m from Texas and still learned a couple of things I didn’t know. I have Daddy’s flag from his funeral and was so proud when my grandson’s Boy Scout Pack flew it over the school on Veteran’s Day a couple of years back. So proud. But, a really funny story I have is about a bunch of visitors who went to see the show “Texas”. For those who haven’t seen it, at the end a lone rider races across the rim of Palo Duro Canyon flying a Texas flag. Of course, whenever a Texan sees a Texas flag we stand up and cheer. We had some folks from another part of the country and the lady sitting next to me asked what everyone was cheering about. I told her, “The Texas flag.” She looked dumbfounded, so I was dumb enough to ask if they didn’t cheer when their state flag was presented and she simply answered, “No. I’m not sure if we have a state flag.” DUH! But it was funny! Good blog, Karen. Hugs, Phyliss

  17. We Texans are definitely proud of our flag, aren’t we Phyllis? I was raised in CA, and I still rmember the first time I attended one of our kid’s school assemblies. They said the pledge of alliegience and I was halfway back down to my seat when I realized they had started a second pledge to the Texas flag. What??? We never pledged anything to the California flag. Ha! Needless to say, I’ve learned to keep my hand firmly over my heart and my knees locked in the standing position until after both pledges are recited.

  18. We don’t have a flag, but I have flown flags in the past on Four of July and things like that.

  19. In the last two small towns where I lived they had the small flags on the veterans graves, but on Memorial Day, they have large ones on tall poles flying down every row around the cemetery, as does the Veteran’s Cemetery. It’s beautiful. I have my husbands triangular folded flag from his funeral. We donated his bachelor brothers to the Cemetery council (or Veteran’ hall) to add to the Flags flying all over the cemetery on the holidays like Memorial day, Each flagpole has the name of a vet, with his information on which one he served in (like Army, Navy, etc.) and troop numbers etc. That is neat I think. I fly a small flag all year from my porch. Used to have a larger one and the pole that slants out, but it wore plumb out, so just have small ones now. Maxie At our Veteran’s Cemetery they place a large wreath on each grave at Christmas. Pd. for by Donations. It is beautiful! Maxie

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