The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000 Page: 359
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A Fifteen-Star Texas Flag
Frank Brown, a contemporary observer in Austin wrote about the
scene on February 1, 1861:
Attorney General Flournoy pushed his way through the surging mass of dele-
gates and spectators to the speakers stand, bearing a magnificent Lone Star
banner made by the ladies of Austin, which in an eloquent speech he present-
ed, in their name, to the convention. It was received by John A. Wharton.
Shaking out the folds of the beloved banner and turning to the audience with
form erect and flashing eyes, he delivered a speech that those who heard it
will never forget. The presentation of the flag and speeches were wildly
John Salmon Ford wrote:
Some ladies then entered the Hall, preceded by Attorney General George
Flournoy, bearing a beautiful Lone Star flag waving over their heads. Applause.
Col. John A. Wharton advanced from his seat to meet them near the centre of
the Hall. He had been previously appointed to receive the flag. Mr. Flournoy
presented the flag in a very appropriate address. Col. Wharton acknowledged
its reception in a very handsome address. Both were short and eloquent.
The State Gazette, a weekly newspaper published in Austin, provided
another viewpoint on the secession flag. A news item "The Passage of
the Secession Ordinance by the Convention" reported the vote and went
on to state: "Attorney General Flournoy, in a thrilling address, in the
name of the ladies of Austin, presented a handsome Lone Star flag to
the Convention. The Lone Star was encircled by fourteen small ones. It
was received by the Hon. John A. Wharton, in behalf of the Convention,
in an eloquent address."9
A fifteen-star flag was not unique to the Austin women. In McKinney.
Texas, earlier in January 1861, a fifteen-star flag was flown at a rally
sponsored by the Friends of Secession and Southern Rights. This flag
measured twenty-four feet by ten feet and was hoisted on an eighty-five-
feet-tall flagpole near the courthouse in McKinney. Belle Moore present-
ed the flag, which "was wrought by the hands of the fair and beautiful
ladies of McKinney and vicinity." There were "enthusiastic huzzahs and
loud cheering of a delighted assembly." "Although the streets were very
unfavorable for pedestrians, the ladies turned out, wearing fifteen-point-
ed rosettes, to witness the ceremonies of presentation. .. ."lo
7 Frank Brown, Annals of Travis County and of the City of Austin: From the Earliest Times to the Close
of 1875 (undated manuscript, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Museum, Austin, Texas),
chapter 21, 19-20.
8 "Memoirs of John Salmon Ford, Volume 5 Secession," 977. John Salmon Ford Papers
1836-1892 (Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas).
9 State Gazette (Austin), Feb. 9, 1861. Bellville Countryman, Feb. 6, 1861, and Weekly Telegraph
(Houston), Feb. 5, 1861, mention the event but do not describe the flag.
1o Dallas Weekly Herald, Jan. 30, 1861.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000, periodical, 2000; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101220/m1/405/: accessed March 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.