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Historical Texas Flags (U.S.)

Last modified: 2006-08-26 by rick wyatt
Keywords: texas | united states | lorenzo de zavala | mexico | houston | gonzales |
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First Texas Lone Star flag

[1819 Flag of Texas] image by Chrystian Kretowicz

The early Texas' flag. The first 'Lone Star' on record in Texas was employed on the 'Long flag' of independence filibuster, Dr. James Long, in 1819 while Texas (Tejas) was still a province of New Spain.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 22 July 2002

Fredonian Rebellion Flag

[1826 Flag of Texas' Fredonian Rebellion] image by Chris Pinette, 23 March 2000

This flag was used by Hayden Edwards and his followers in East Texas in their rebellion against Mexican authorities in 1826. He declared Texas independent of Mexico and gave his land the name of "the Republic of Fredonia". Without assistance from other Texas colonists, he was forced to give up his fight against Mexico and return to the United States.
Chris Pinette, 23 March 2000

[1826 Flag of Texas' Fredonian Rebellion] image by Jaume Ollé, 14 June 2003

Captain Baker's San Felipe Flag

[1834 Captain Baker's San Felipe Flag] image by Chris Pinette, 23 March 2000

In 1834 Captain Moseley Baker of Alabama came to Texas and joined the fighting forces raised by William Barret Travis. It was presented to him by Gail Borden, Jr. on March 2, 1836. The flag was given the name San Felipe in honor of the capital of Stephen F. Austin's colony.
Chris Pinette, 23 March 2000

Scott's Flag of the Liberals

[1835 Scott's Flag of the Liberals] image by Chris Pinette, 23 March 2000

This flag was designed by Captain William Scott in 1835. It was used by those Texans who favored independence from Mexico. It was carried into the Battle of Concepción by James McGahey on October 28, 1835.
Chris Pinette, 23 March 2000

Goliad Flag

[Johanna Troutman's Goliad Flag] image by Chris Pinette, 23 March 2000

This flag was made by Johanna Troutman of Knoxville, Georgia. In 1835, Colonel Fannin made an appeal for a Georgia battalion to aid the Texas cause. Miss Troutman presented this flag to Colonel Fannin before he returned back to Texas with the volunteers. The flag was first unfurled at Velasco on January 8, 1836 and was carried into battle at Goliad on March 27, 1836.
Chris Pinette, 23 March 2000

Myth! - The Lorenzo de Zavala Flag of 1836

[Myth! - The Lorenzo de Zavala Flag of 1836] image by Peter Krembs, 1 April 2001

The Texas flag described as a white star on a blue field with the letters T E X A S around the star points is a vexillological myth. This is the so-called "Lorenzo de Zavala" flag, which Zavala allegedly designed in March 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos during the convention that drafted the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico and the original Texas Constitution. Zavala was a notable figure in Mexican history--he was one of the three drafters of the original 1824 Mexican Constitution.

The convention journals, which I have read the originals in the state archives, reflect that Zavala did propose a flag design, but there is no surviving record of that design. A week or so later, other members of the convention proposed adding a rainbow and stars to Zavala's (unknown) design. Still later, it was proposed to add the letters T E X A S. There is no surviving record that a flag was actually adopted, and it's anyone's guess what the flag would have looked like since no one knows what design Zavala actually proposed.

The fictitious "Lorenzo de Zavala" flag that one sees in flag books comes from the fertile imagination of one Mamie Wynne Cox, a member of the venerable Daughters of the Republic of Texas who published a 1930s era book entitled "The Romantic Flags of Texas." Ms. Cox conveniently ignored the journal entries that discuss the addition of the rainbow and stars to Zavala's unknown design, and she shows art for this "flag." The rest is history!

Ms. Cox also incorrectly identified the proposed pilot flag for the Republic of Texas as the civil ensign (this is the white-blue-red triband, with a white star centered in the blue stripe). As a consequence of her book, I see a lot more "Zavala" national flags and Republic of Texas civil ensigns than I care to.

Charles Spain, 1 May 1996

Gonzales Banner of 1835

[Gonzales Banner of 1835] by Rick Wyatt, 28 September 1998

During the Texas war for independence from Mexico, an army of Texans took the town of Gonzales from a Mexican army (without much effort). Apparently, part of what the Mexicans left when they fled was a cannon. (Some folks say this cannon was the personal property of the Mexican general - an aristocrat). At any rate, the Mexican's sent a message to the Texans requesting the return of their cannon. The Texans responded by raising the banner! A star over a cannon over the words "Come and take it".
Todd Trotter, 12 January 1999