Icpeafial M eyco aod rcas
JOSEPH CARL McELHANNON
ALL students of Texas history are familiar with the phrase,
"Texas under six flags." To the six flags customarily in-
cluded within this classification, should be added, how-
ever, a seventh-the banner of the Independent Mexican Empire
which waved over Texas, an imperial province, for more than a
year. The only important difference between the flag of the
Mexican Empire, which was adopted on November 2, 1821, and
the flag of the Mexican Republic adopted on April 14, 1823,
was an imperial crown on the Mexican eagle.' This was a minute
detail and yet it was important to the state of Texas and possibly
to the later development of United States history.
In the year x810 the priest of Dolores, Miguel Hidalgo, began
a movement to overthrow the existing government of New Spain.
The revolt spread rapidly and with increasing force even after
Hidalgo's death and his worthy successor, Jos6 Maria Morelos,
turned the movement into one for independence. The capture
and execution of Morelos in 1815 did not completely halt the
operations of other insurgents, but by 1820 the cause of inde-
pendence was upheld only in the south by Vicente Guerrero. To
remove this last obstacle to the complete pacification of New
Spain, the viceroy selected Colonel Agustin de Iturbide, not
knowing that this commander was one of the leaders in a clergy-
inspired plot to declare the independence of Mexico.
The motives of Iturbide and Guerrero were entirely different,
but they were in agreement upon the major idea-that of inde-
pendence. The fellow conspirators of Iturbide wished independ-
ence because they felt that the new liberal government in Spain
was too radical and they wished to set up an empire and invite
the Spanish ruler, Ferdinand VII, to the Mexican throne. Guer-
rero wished for an independent Mexico in which the creoles
(those of Spanish parents born in the colonies) and the mestizos
1Wenceslao Labra, Homenaje a la Bandera (Toluca, Mexico, 1939), 16-17.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101126/. Accessed July 11, 2014.