This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Historical Texas Flags - Page 1 (U.S.)

Page 1 of 2 Pages

Last modified: 2022-09-17 by rick wyatt
Keywords: texas | united states | lorenzo de zavala | mexico | houston | gonzales |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

Texas War for Independence Flags: 1835 or earlier

See also:

External sites:

Long's Lone Star flag 1819
The First of the Texas "Lone Star" flags

[James Long 1818 flag] image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 13 July 2011

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

The Jane Long flag is said to have been a solid red flag with a large white 5 pointed star in the middle. but the first flag is less known, but is believed to have also been the flag used by the Summerville Expedition men who crossed the Rio Grande in 1842 and fought in Mier, Mexico. This flag was also used by at least one Texas county when Texas seceded from the Union in 1861.
Tom Green, 25 November 2007

These flags are sometimes named after the wife of Dr. James Long. It was she who made several flags for her husband, while Long and his followers made multiple trips back and forth between New Orleans and Texas. Her first flag had a single white star on a red field. While staying in New Orleans, Jane made a second version of the flag adding 13 red and white stripes and placing the star in a red canton. This flag is considered by some to be the official flag of the second Texas Republic. (source)
Pete Loeser, 27 July 2020

Second Republic of Texas Flag 1821
The Second Invasion

[1819 Flag of Texas] image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 26 November 2007

Dr. Long left Texas quickly and later returned in 1821 with a new flag that included his wife's flag as the canton and 13 red and white stripes. This flag is well known.
Tom Green,, 25 November 2007

The second group of Americans to invade Texas were James Long and his followers in 1821 carrying their new Lone Star flag with its 13 red and white stripes, hoping their design would attract more Americans to their cause. Besides making the flags, his wife Jane Long also became known as the "Mother of Texas" after she gave birth to a child on her husband's campaign against the Presidio La Bahia in Goliad.
Later, Long met his end when he was invited to meet with those working for Mexican independence in Mexico City. When he arrived he was "accidentally" shot and killed under very suspicious circumstances. He is said to have been shot by a nervous soldier while removing his passport from his pocket. (source)
Pete Loeser, 27 July 2020

[James Long 1818 flag] image located by Bill Garrison, 4 February 2021

This lithograph shows a different version of this flag. In this article the 1-star canton runs down the entire left-side (hoist) side of the flag. As it was drawn on a map of the Texas garrison at "Goliad", this might be referred to as the "Goliad flag" or "Fort Defiance flag" or "second version of the Second Republic of Texas flag 1821". This drawing of the fort and its flags (I see two different ones) where drawn by an officer several weeks before the fort's capture -- so his accuracy in drawing the flag(s) should be reputable.
Bill Garrison, 4 February 2021

Constitution of 1824
Dimmit's First Flag

[Dimmit's 1st Flag c1824]     [Constitution of 1824]
image from Pete Loeser, 27 July 2020

     In 1835, Phillip Dimmit, a Kentuckian and local merchant, was placed charge of the captured Presidio La Bahía in Bexar, Texas. Dimmit at first was a strong voice for reconciling with Mexico and is credited for designing this flag that was destined to be carried at the Battle of the Nueces in November of 1835. He strongly felt that if the Mexican government followed the laws established in the Constitution of 1824 all would be well in Texas. Events soon proved him wrong.
     Mexican forces had garrisoned nearby Fort Lipantitlán on the Nueces River and began operations against Bexar from this new position. In November of 1835, Dimmit, in response put together a force of about 30 mounted riflemen, under the command of Ira Westover, and sent them out to eliminate the threat. Although outnumbered, the Texans carried rifles, which outstripped the Mexican muskets for distance and accuracy. The Mexican Commander at Lipantitlán, Captain Nicolás Rodríguez, marched out to meet the approaching Texans with a force of 80 men, but was unable to find them. The Texans, avoiding the Mexican force, arrived at the small fort and the handful of Mexican troopers remained in the fort surrendered. When Rodríguez received word of the Texan capture of Lipantitlán, he rushed back and caught the Texans crossing the river after they had destroyed as much of the fort as possible. The "Battle of the Nueces" had begun.
     The fight lasted about thirty-two minutes. Eight Mexican soldiers were killed with about twelve to fourteen wounded. First Sergeant Bracken was the only wounded among the Texans. Rodríguez refused to continue the fighting saying that the Texan rifle fire was more than his men could stand. The defeated Mexican force retreated toward Matamoros, while the Texans, after doing as much damage as possible to the fort at the Nueces, headed back toward the presidio at Bexar. Dimmit soon left Bexar and took command of the garrison at Goliad. (source)
Pete Loeser, 27 July 2020

Fredonian Rebellion Flag 1826

[1826 Flag of Texas' Fredonian Rebellion] obverse side     [1826 Flag of Texas' Fredonian Rebellion] reverse side
images by Chris Pinette, 23 March 2000 and  Jaume Ollé, 14 June 2003

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

The Texas-Coahuila Militia Flag 1834

[The Texas-Coahuila Militia Flag] brown stars    [The Texas-Coahuila Militia Flag] with blue stars
images by Rick Wyatt and Pete Loeser, 20 August 2020

The 1824 Constitution of Mexico joined Texas with Coahuila to form the state of Coahuila y Tejas. The new Mexican government had little money to devote to the military. Settlers were empowered to create their own militias to help control hostile Indian tribes. The Texas-Coahuila Militia was one such militia. In 1834, Colonel Jim Bowie was placed in command of Texas-Coahuila Militia. The flag used by Colonel Jim Bowie's group was a Mexican Merchant's Flag with two stars (either blue or brown), added on the white stripe. (source)
Pete Loeser, 13 May 2020

Scott's Flag of the Liberals 1835

[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

Gonzales "Come and Take It" Banner 1835

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

Summarized from the book "Lone Star Nation - The Epic Story of the Battle for Texas Independence" by H. W. Brands on pages 260 to 263:
In September 1835 tensions were high between Santa Anna and the Texans, so much so that Santa Anna had sent General Cos to disarm the Texans. As a part of this campaign a force was dispatched to the town of Gonzales to demand the return of a small bronze cannon that the Mexican government had given to the Guadalupe River Colony (which included Gonzales) a few years earlier at the request of colony's empresario, Green DeWitt. The Texans refused to return the cannon and then engaged, and defeated, a force of 100 Mexican dragoons on October 2, 1835 - with the banner flying beside the cannon. This was the opening battle in Texas' War for Independence.
Todd Trotter, 12 January 1999

Some say the little cannon had been brought to Texas in 1812 with the Gutierrez-Magee Expedition and captured on the battle field after most of the Republican Army of the North were killed in the Battle of Medina on August 18, 1813. I initiated an annual ceremony 5 years ago to honor all the men who died in the Battle of Medina which is the bloodiest battle in Texas history.
Tom Green, 25 November 2007

Sara Seely DeWitt and her daughter Evaline made the flag, back then referred to as the Old Cannon Flag, now called the Come and Take It flag. Depicted on a white cloth was a cannon with a lone star above it, and the words "come and take it" beneath the cannon. It was Texas' first battle flag.

Several Texas vexillologists feel that the original Gonzales flag did not have the star. They feel it is likely that it was added after independence and possibly after statehood, so that Gonzales could claim to be the "original" lone star flag.
James J. Ferrigan III, 15 May 2000

Dimmit's Bloody Arm Flag 1835
Dimmit's Second Flag

[Dimmit's Bloody Arm Flag 1835] image by Pete Loeser, 27 July 2020

This was the second, less well-known flag designed by the Goliad garrison commander, Captain Philip Dimmit, and dramatically reflected his political shift away from support of statehood for Texas in the Mexican Federalist Republic to a complete separation from Mexico as an independent Republic (see the "Constitution of 1824 Flag" above). Phillip Dimmit was one of many Texans who changed their mind about reconciling with Mexico and by the time he left for Goliad in December of 1835, he was firmly for an independent Texas. He seems to have left his original conservative flag in Bexar along with his original beliefs so that by the time he arrived in Goliad he was using this white flag with a bloody arm holding a sword as his banner. This banner was used to celebrate the signing of an unsanctioned Declaration of Independence at Goliad on December 20, 1835. Unfortunately, time was running out for all those at Goliad. (See "Goliad Flag 1836") (source)
Pete Loeser, 27 July 2020

Brown's Flag of Independence 1835

[Brown's Flag of Independence 1835] image by Pete Loeser, 27 July 2020

This flag is said to have been designed by Capt. William S. Brown at Velasco in the fall of 1835 and has been commonly confused with Capt. Dimmitt's bloody-arm flag (above) since it employs the same symbol.
Tradition tells us that this banner was flown by Brown and his men at the Battle of Bexar and then again at Goliad where Brown was a signer of the Goliad Declaration of Independence. Afterwards Brown also went to San Felipe where the banner was again said to be flown prior to his return home to Velasco. It also may have been flown in front of the American Hotel on January 8, 1836, along with the Troutman flag of the Georgia Battalion. (source)
Pete Loeser, 27 July 2020

A Texas rebel flag - 1836

[Texas rebel flag 1836] image by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascan, 17 May 2022

On 28 January 1836 Mexican Ministry of War published a circular regarding a flag adopted by “Texan rebels” in the following terms:

“The supreme government has received official notice that the Texas rebels have adopted a bizarre flag, consisting of stripes just like that of the United States of North America (sic), bearing, instead of the blue square with stars, a white square with a cross and a number 1824. It is also known that the ships (…) sail with this ensign, and that one ship from Texas arrived at Orleans with the flag atop. The Mexican nation does not recognize that flag (…)”.

The circular does not mention the color and size of the cross nor those of the number, I assume the number of stripes is thirteen “like that of the United States…”, the color of the cross could be red and white the number.

It is remarkable that this is the only Mexican official source that mentions a Texan flag bearing the number “1824”, for the year when the first federal republican constitution was proclaimed in Mexico.

Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, 17 May 2022