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South Texas Living

The seven flags of Texas

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Rudy Elizondo
August 28, 2013 | 2,508 views | Post a comment

Like the United States of America, Texas has a unique and proud flag history. Most people have heard about “The Six Flags of Texas.” Few people, however, have heard about “The Seven Flags of Texas.” In reality, Texas has had even more than seven. All of them flew over Texas at one time or another during its exciting history.

The first flag of Texas was the Spanish flag. Texas belonged to Spain from the first time of Columbus in 1492 until 1821. The Spanish were the first Europeans to wander through the vast expanse of Texas in the early 16th century. They claimed the land for the king of Spain but neglected to establish any settlement to secure its claim. Because France tried to claim Texas, Spain reasserted its claim of ownership in 1691. Spain set into motion a grand plan of establishing a frontier chain of missions, settlements, and military posts called presidios, from which to oversee its claim of Texas.

The second flag of Texas was the French flag. In 1685, Rene Robert Cavalier, Sieur De La Salle, set sail from France to establish a settlement at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Blown off course by storms, he landed at Matagorda Bay on the Gulf Coast and claimed Texas for the king of France. He established the settlement of Fort St. Louis. After five years of hardship, the settlement failed and the French withdrew.

The third flag of Texas was the Green flag carried by the Gutierrez-Magee Expedition in 1812-13. The Republican Army of the North, flying the Green flag, crossed the Sabine in 1812, marched to La Bahia, which is now Goliad, and then to San Antonio. There it established the first Republic of Texas on April 6, 1813, which came to an end at the Battle of Medina on Aug. 18, 1813. So disastrous was this battle that the first Republic of Texas, the battle site, and the Green flag have become almost lost and forgotten in Texas history.

The fourth flag of Texas was the Mexican flag. The late 17th and early 18th centuries saw the decline of Spain’s influence and power in the Western Hemisphere. In 1810, a movement for independence had begun in Mexico. When independence from Spain was finally achieved in 1821, Texas became the northernmost state of Mexico. This flag flew over our state until 1836.

The fifth flag was the Lone Star flag of the Republic of Texas. Santa Anna once said, “The Texans flatter themselves that they have a government, yet they are fighting under no recognized flag or banner.” Immigrant Texans and native-born Mexican Texans fought for independence under banners and flags of many symbols and colors. Not until three years after the Texas Revolution of 1836 did the Republic officially choose a national flag. Texas was an independent nation among the nations of the world from 1836 to 1846.

The sixth flag of Texas was the flag of the United States of America. Texas was annexed to the United States in 1846 to become the 28th state of the USA.

The seventh flag was the Confederate flag. Texas was a part of the Confederacy from 1861-65. After the War Between the States, Texas resumed its place in the union of states, and since that time, Texas has been a proud part of the United States of America.

The Texas flag is the only flag that can be flown on the same level as the United States flag. When Texas became a republic, it was on the same level as Spain, England, and France.

Viva, Tejas.

Rudy Elizondo is Julia Castro’s nephew and formerly of Floresville.

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