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Birthplace of the Texas Flag
By Char Schneider
Six Flags of Texas” is not always a reference to the amusement park. The term originated from the fact that the state of Texas has flown under six different flags or governments.
The first national flag was from Spain, which had control of Texas from 1591 to 1685, and again from 1690 to 1821. France had control from 1685 to 1690. In 1821 Mexico was formed and broke away from Spain. Mexico remained in control until 1836 when Texas broke away and formed its own country. The Republic of Texas was a country until 1845, when it joined the United States of America.
In 1861, Texas joined the Confederate States of America, but by1869 Texas was back to flying the U.S. flag.
Johanna Troutman (17 years old at the time) is considered the “Betsy Ross” of the Texas flag. She was born in Crawford County, Ga. in1818. When she died in Georgia in 1879 she had never set foot in Texas. It wasn’t until 1913 that Texas Governor Colquitt requested that her remains be moved to Texas. Johanna sewed the battle flag for the Georgia Battalion of Volunteers in 1835. It was flown over Velasco, Texas. In January 1836, it was taken to Goliad and served as the First Volunteers’ flag of the Republic after the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed.
Originally, the flag was a blue star on a white flag with the words “Liberty or Death” at the bottom. During the Goliad battle the flag was torn to shreds. While this flag was used during the battles with Mexico, it was later modified.
In 1839 the Lone Star flag as we know it today became the official flag of the Republic of Texas. Several politicians played with sketches of a new flag, but the third version sketched by Charles Stewart became the official flag. Mirabeau B. Lamar signed the original sketch by Charles Bollinger Stewart, who had created it on a piece of linen. The flag stands for bravery (red), purity (white), and loyalty (blue). Dr. Charles B. Stewart was a resident of Montgomery County.
The pledge to the Texas flag (which all of our children have learned) was adopted by the 43rd Legislature. In 2007, it was edited to the current pledge. When both the U.S. pledge and the Texas pledge are recited, the state pledge is said last.
“Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible.”