Texas Almanac, 1941-1942 Page: 67
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Flags of Texas.
Many *flags have flown over Texas with
varying degrees of sovereign authority. These
flags fall generally into three classifications.
First, there are the six sovereign flags-
those of Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic
of Texas, the Southern Confederacy and the
United States. These are the six flags fre-
quently mentioned in Texas history. (See
p36.) Secondly, there was the large num-
ber of flags flown by various military units
during the Texas Revolution, prior to adop-
tion of the Lone Star Flag as the official
standard of the republic in 1839. Two or
three of these flags received a degree of
government recognition, but most of them
were merely company or regiment flags.
Among these were the flags flown at the
Alamo, Gonzales, Goliad and San Jacinto.
Something is told about these flags in the
paragraphs below. Thirdly, there were the
flags of the turbulent period of 1811-1821,
when several attempts were made to free
Texas from the Spanish yoke, following the
failure of the Hidalgo revolt in Mexico. Some-
thing is said of these flags in paragraphs
Which Six Flags?
Questions have been raised as to the cor-
rect design of some of the six flags that have
flown over Texas, notably the Spanish and
French flags, and, in some measure, the
Mexican and Confederate flags. The con-
sensus of leading authorities is given below:
The tflag with the red cross of St. Andrew
on the white field was the Spanish ensign
from the time Pineda explored the Texas
coast, 1519, until 1668, and again from 1707
until 1785. During the period, 1668 to 1707,
the colors had been reversed, that is, with
white cross on red field. Thus the white field
with the red cross of St. Andrew (conven-
tionalized design representing crossed knotty
logs) was the flag of Spain during most of
the period of its dominion over Texas, though
the flag with the reversed colors was in use
at the time Capt. Alonzo de Leon entered
Texas in 1689 to lay definite Spanish claim.
Either color arrangement might be used ap-
propriately in a group of six flags, though
the white field with red cross was the longer
In use. Some authorities have selected the
quartered flag of red field (sometimes red
and white) with the two gold castles and two
gold lions. This was the first national flag
of Spain coming into use with the union of
the Kingdoms of Castile and Leon. It was
supplanted by the cross of St. Andrew (also
called cross of Bourgogne since St. Andrew
was patron saint of the feudal lords of Bour-
gogne) by the end of the Fifteenth Centu-y.
The castles and lions continued to be used
on the shield, however, and were sometimes
placed at the ends of the logs in the cross of
A white tflag with white cross and scat-
tered golden fleurs-de-lis was the flag planted
on Texas soil by La Salle, according to most
authorities. Frequently the group of six
flags is shown with French flag of blue with
white or golden fleurs-de-lis. This was used
*For a more detailed account of the flags of
Texas, the reader is referred to the book, The
Romantic Flags of Texas, by Mamle Wynne Cox,
Dallas, Texas. (Banks Upshaw and Company,
tAuthority for statements about Spanish and
French flags Is primarily from a study by
Dr. Carlos E. Castaneda, Latin-American Libra-
rian at the University of Texas, who made a
special study of this subject for authorities prior
to the Centenmal Exposition of 1936.
at the time of La Salle as the personal flag
of the King but it was not properly the na-
tional emblem A number of French flags
were captured on Texas soil by the Spaniards
during the period of French and Spanish
conflict, and all of them apparently eie
white with gold fleurs-de-lis.
This is a tri-color of green (next to staff),
white (center) and red On the white field
is the coat-of-arms of Mexico, the eagle above
the cactus with serpent in its beak. The flag
of the 1821-36 era is sometimes represented
with the coat-of-arms enclosed by a p reath
of laurel and oak.
Flag of Southern Confederacy.
The Southern Confederacy adopted three
different national flags. The first one, the
Stars and Bars. is best known. It consists
of a blue field in upper corner next to the
staff with white stars in circular position,
and three stripes (bars), two of red and one
of white. Probably this flag should be given
preference in a group of the six flags. How-
ever, the battle flag of the Confederacy, con-
sisting of red field with the blue cross with
white stars, is often used.
Texas and U.S. Flags.
These are the Lone Star Flag of the Re-
public of Texas, described below, and the
Stars and Stripes of the United States.
Lone Star Flag.
The officially adopted flag of the State
of Texas today is the former flag of the
Republic of Texas, The Texas State flag Is
the only flag of an American commonwealth
having previously served as the flag of a
recognized independent country. The flag
consists of a blue field with a single large
star and white and red horizontal stripes,
the white stripe being uppermost.
The flag of Texas was adopted by the Third
Congress of the Republic in session at Hous-
ton Jan. 25, 1839, on motion of William H.
Wharton, Oliver Jones and others. It speci-
fied that the flag should consist of "a blue
perpendicular stripe of the width of one-third
of the whole length of the flag and a white
star of five points in the center thereof and
two horizontal stripes of equal length and
breadth, the upper stripe of white, the lower
of red, of the length of two thirds of the
length of the whole flag." This is today the
Lone Star Flag of Texas. There was no other
specification of the Flag of Texas until a
statute was passed by the Forty-Third Legis-
lature (Acts of 1933, p. 186, ch. 87), clarifying
(but not changing) the original description
given above. The statute, however, added
specifications, one being that the star, from
topmost to lowest points, shall be approxi-
mately one third of the depth of the blue
Other Flags of the Republic.
However, the Lone Star flag, described
above, was not the first official flag of the
Republic of Texas. A flag consisting of a
blue field with large central gold star was
adopted by the First Texas Congress, Dec.
10. 1836. The design was suggested by Pres-
ident David G. Burnet, and It is sometimes
called the "Burnet flag." It was the flag
of the Republic, 1836-1839. At the same time
the Congress adopted a Texas Navy flag,
which had been officially recognized as early
as April 9, 1836, by President Burnet. This
flag, described in Brown's History, was com-
posed of "union, blue star central, with thir-
teen prolonged stripes, alternate red and
white." It was like the flag of the United
States except that there was a single star
on the blue field. There is also record of a
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Texas Almanac, 1941-1942, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117164/m1/69/: accessed May 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.