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Historical Texas Flags (U.S.)

Last modified: 2002-09-28 by rick wyatt
Keywords: texas | united states | burnet | texas republic | new orleans | greys |
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New Orleans Greys

The New Orleans Greys flag is most likely still in the National Museum in Mexico City but is hidden so no efforts can be made to return it to Texas. All reports I have read state that the Greys flag was the one flying over the Alamo when it fell. The mythical pictures of the Mexican flag with the "1824" - the date of the Mexican Constitution that the Anglo settlers were fighting for was basically a flag of attempted reconciliation. When Santa Anna rebuffed these attempts the Texians went with a myriad of Lone Star based flags as symbols of defiance.

The basis for this was the flag of the West Florida Republic of 1810. Not geographically connected to Florida at all - this mini-nation covered the lower parts of the states of Alabama, Missississipp and that part of Louisiana above New Orleans. The captiol was in Baton Rouge. The Spanish governor was overthrown by a band of Anglo settlers fighting under a blue flag with a single white star. That flag went into the folklore of the area including (probably) into the mind of David Burnet - who was living in Natchitoches in 1813.

Greg Biggs, 27 March 1997

Burnet's Flag - Texas Republic's First Flag

[Burnet's Flag (1836) of Texas Republic] by Chris Pinette, 29 April 1997

Burnet later emigrated to Texas and became the first President of the Texas Republic. He designed their first flag - which was blue with a gold/yellow star on the field. See the connection? There is no documented paper trail on this but Burnet's Louisiana heritage and the time frame is just too close to miss. The Burnet flag was replaced by the current state flag in 1839.
Greg Biggs, 27 March 1997

From the February 1992 edition of the South Texas Law Review, titled "The Flags and Seals of Texas," by Charles A. Spain, Jr:

The first official flag [of the Republic of Texas] was approved by the Texas Congress on December 10, 1836: "Be it further enacted, That for the future there shall be a national flag, to be denominated the 'National Standard of Texas,' the conformation of which shall be an azure ground, with a large golden star central." This flag is known as David G. Burnet's flag, named after the president of the ad interim government. ...

The national standard served as the Texas flag for all purposes except for the navy until the adoption of the Lone Star flag in 1839. From that point forward, the national standard continued as the de jure war flag until Texas achieved statehood in 1845. The national standard was not completely replaced by the 1839 Lone Star Flag because the 1839 Act was merely an amendment to the 1836 Act. The 1839 Act specifically provided that the national standard was to remain unaffected: "Be it further enacted, The national standard of this Republic shall remain as was established by an act to which this is an amendment."
Mr. Spain goes on to explain that, although President Burnet's flag was never explicitly replaced as one of the Republic's official flags by the Lone Star Flag, the need for a separate war flag ended with statehood in 1845. Also, the state legislature revised the code of laws in 1879, and repealed all laws not explicitly re-enacted -- thereby ending any legislative sanction for Burnet's flag.

Andrew Rogers, 3 October 1997

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