Heritage, Volume 18, Number 1, Winter 2000 Page: 8
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ernment of the Republic returned the
San Jacinto battle flag to the family of
Sidney Sherman, which donated the
remnants back to the state 60 years later
(see image, page 7).
Ironically, aside from the San Jacinto
color, today all but one of the remaining
Texas flags of this period are now property
of the Mexican government. Santa
Anna sent home the captured guidon of
the New Orleans Grays to certify his victory
at the Alamo, and it along with five
Lone Star flags Mexican forces had captured
during the sporadic warfare of the
early 1840s, ended up in Mexico City
museums. Today, all but one of these, the
Lone Star flag displayed in the Star of
Texas Museum at Washington-on-the
Brazos, remain in Mexico and unavailable
to Texas historians.
Only during the Civil War did Texans
begin to make conscious efforts to preserve
their own historical flags. The first
of these were several battle flags of
Hood's Texas Brigade, which in late 1862
were sent back to Austin for display in
the state Capitol in order to "strike terror
in the hearts of the cowards skulking at
home." As the war ended Texas soldiers
went to great lengths to ensure their
remaining flags did not fall into the
hands of victorious Union troops. The
men of Hood's Brigade, for instance, tore
their last two battle flags to shreds rather
than surrender them at Appomattox.
Fortunately for posterity, other Texas
Confederates were more circumspect.
When the Army of Tennessee surrendered,
Mark Kelton, a captain in
Granbury's Brigade, removed the battle
flag of his regiment from its staff, and
with it hidden beneath his clothes,
trekked home. Everywhere in the TransMississippi,
individual Texas veterans
brought their units' flags home with them
for safekeeping. Flags on public display in
Texas were taken down before the arrival
of occupying forces. Yet, some of the most
significant Texas Civil War flags survived
because they had been captured during
By the 1990s the art of flag
preservation had become
more scientific and more his
tory-conscious. As stated in
the Hippocratic oath, the
motto of the new breed of
textile preservationist was
"first do no harm."
the war and sent north for public display
and as souvenirs for Yankee soldiers.
For more than a decade Confederate
flags were not seen in Texas, but the end
of Reconstruction brought a resurgence
of pride in the colors. At veterans'
reunions the battle flags began to reappear,
and the presence of one of the old
banners at a public gathering "evoked the
Amelia Fowler and her daughter, Katherine Richey
HERITAGE * 8 * WINTER 2000
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 18, Number 1, Winter 2000, periodical, Winter 2000; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45388/m1/8/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.