Monday, May 11, 2015

Six Flags Over Texas

Colorful Flags of Texas History

Historically, six nations have flown their flags over what is now the state of Texas. Beginning with the Spaniards back in the early 16th century, four different countries claimed Texas as their own. After Texas won her independence in 1836, she flew her own Lone Star flag as the Republic of Texas until she became a state and flew the Stars and Stripes. For the years of the Civil War, the CSA flag flew over our state.

Texas has a colorful history dating back to the 16th century. In the year 1519, Cortez came to Mexico and claimed the land that is now Texas for Spain. A man named Alonzo Alvarex de Pineda then mapped the Texas coastline. Alvar Nunez and Cabeza de Vaca are among the Spaniards shipwrecked on those shores. Explorers like Coronado probed the vast wilderness, but deemed it too wild for habitation. The first Spanish settlement at Ysleta Mission in far west Texas was not established until 1681. The Spaniards then established other missions, forts, and civil settlements. The Spanish flag flew over Texas until Mexico won independence in 1821.
This is the flag most commonly flown by the Spaniards after 1785. It flew over the territory 1519-1685 and 1685-1821 The longest any flag flew over the land until the U.S. flag.

In 1685, France laid claim to eastern Texas in order to expand their land possessions west of Louisiana. The Spanish settlements were hundreds of miles away in the western half of the state. Two French noblemen, Rene Robert Cavelier and Sieur de la Salle, founded the colony Fort St. Louis. However, this colony was doomed from the start. Within five years shipwreck, disease, hostile Indians and even famine caused the decline of the colony which culminated with La Salle’s murder by one of his own company and brought an end to the colony and France’s claim on Texas. This flag flew from 1685-1690 when the land was reclaimed by the Spanish.

After winning her independence in 1821, Texas became a new frontier to be explored for both Mexicans and Anglos. Anglo Texans became Mexican citizens. Things were fairly smooth until a Mexican general, Santa Anna scrapped the federal constitution of Mexico and declared himself as dictator. He gained the reputation of being the “Napoleon of Mexico.” For a number of years the Texians as the anglo Mexicans were called, endured the hardships caused by Santa Anna. In 1836, they revolted and declared their independence. Hard fought battles at Gonzales, the Alamo, and at San Jacinto finally won the independence the Texas wanted. This flag few over Texas from 1821 to 1836.

For ten years the Texans had independence and existed as a republic. Those years were filled with hardships. Epidemics, financial crises, and continuous battles with Mexican forces wore them down. It was during this period that the vivid imagery associated with Texas today was born. The American cowboy, Texas Rangers with their Colt six-shooters, and men like Sam Houston typified the rugged individualism of Texans. The red, white, and blue flag with the lone star was adopted by the Republic in 1839. This is the national Texas flag from 1836 to 1845 and still stands today as the Lone Star State Flag.

Sam Houston didn't want Texas involved in the Civil War and urged Texas to stay aloof or vote to become a neutral republic. Texans drove Sam Houston from office and sided with the South.  Because of their decision, Texas faced the same suffering and devastation as other Confederate states. The flag flown as the national emblem of CSA is different from the more familiar stars and crossed bars associated with CSA today. It flew over Texas from 1861-1865.

Texas became the 28th star on the United States flag when it joined the union in 1845. Then for the period of the Civil War, the flag was put away. After the war ended, the "Star Spangled Banner" returned to wave proudly over Texas as the national flag of Texas. Below are pictures of the U.S. flag of 1845 and the one we know and love today.

1845                                                                                             Today

Texas has a colorful history that didn't stop after she became a state. Stories about Texas and novels set in Texas are favorites with all cultures.

Many amusement parks sprang up using the Six Flags name with the original one being in Texas in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Were you aware of the many flags that few over Texas or how long the area had been occupied?

Answer the question in a comment below to enter the drawing for my latest book, Love Never Fails.  Be sure to leave your email address for contacting.

Martha Rogers is a free-lance writer and the author of the Winds Across the Prairie and Seasons of the Heart series as well as the novella, Key to Her Heart in River Walk Christmas and Not on the Menu in Sugar and Grits. Love Stays True and Love Finds Faith, the first and second books in her third series, The Homeward Journey, are now available. She was named Writer of the Year at the Texas Christian Writers Conference in 2009 and is a member of ACFW and writes the weekly Verse of the Week for the ACFW Loop. In addition to fiction, Martha has contributed to compilations by Wayne Holmes, Debra White-Smith and Karen O’ Connor as well as various devotion books. Martha is a frequent speaker for writing workshops and the Texas Christian Writers Conference. She is a retired teacher and lives in Houston with her husband, Rex. Their favorite pastime is spending time with their nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. 

Book Give Away
Because of what happened to her father and mother during the War Between the States, Molly Whiteman hates guns, violence and war. Stefan Elliot is an officer in the U.S. Cavalry. When the two meet, sparks fly in their attraction to each other. Stefan returns to his regiment leaving Molly torn between her love for him and her deep feelings about guns and killing. Tragedy changes Molly’s heart and brings them back together, but will Molly's love be enough to overcome the depression that has made Stefan a recluse from society?

Don't forget to leave your email address for the drawing. Thanks.


  1. That is certainly a lot of flags. Love the history behind each one.


  2. What beautiful flags and such an interesting history behind them. I have never read any of Martha W. Rogers books. This one sounds like a wonderful story and I would love to have the opportunity to read it !

  3. Love Texas history! My hometown is Arlington TX, and when rumors started rumbling in the late 50's and early 60's about a theme park in our little suburb in the Metroplex which would be akin to Disney Land, the common responses were skeptical to say the least! Of course, that little bedroom town is now a booming city with not only the original Six Flags over Texas, but the new Cowboy stadium. When we moved there in 1950 the population was 7000.

    Sam Houston was run out of the town where we now live (Waco) when he made a speech on the steps of the courthouse urging people not to support secession.

    Interesting post! Thanks, Martha!

    1. I loved taking our boys to Six Flags when they were young. We went a number of times until they built Astroworld in our own back yard. We also took a number of youth groups to Six Flags. It was more educational back in the day, but it's still a fun place today.

  4. I love Texas. My sister was born in Corpus Christi! I knew of a few of the flags but had forgotten France's flag had flown over the area as part of the Louisiana Purchase. : ) Thanks! Praying for TX & storms today. Sounds like another great book!

    1. Chris, you are the winner of my book, Love Never Fails. I will send an email so you can send me your mailing address.

  5. I did know about the six flags over Texas. I learned about them as an Okie girl who went to the Six Flags park numerous times. In the early days of Six Flags, it was a bit more historical-educating than it is now--and I actually learned some things. I remember the Caddo River Ride and the guide telling a historical tale of sorts. One of me grandpas was a Texan, so it's in my blood.

  6. I did know about the six flags over Texas. I learned about them as an Okie girl who went to the Six Flags park numerous times. In the early days of Six Flags, it was a bit more historical-educating than it is now--and I actually learned some things. I remember the Caddo River Ride and the guide telling a historical tale of sorts. One of me grandpas was a Texan, so it's in my blood.

  7. I did know about the six flags over Texas. We had family living near the park & my children have been there a few times. I did learn more in today's post . .
    dkstevensneAT outlookDoTCoM

  8. Since I am a native Texan, I knew about the six flags and what countries they belonged to. However, I had forgotten some of the specifics, so thank you for the "refresher course".
    susanmsj at msn dot com

  9. I never realized that six nations had their flags,flying over Texas. Thanks you for a very I informative and interesting post.
    cps1950 AT gmail DOT com

  10. I didn't know about the six flags over Texas! Never lived in or around that area.

    I've been to Six Flags in Atlanta, but not Texas.


  11. Thanks everyone for dropping by. I love Texas history, and the more I read today, the more I remember from school days and what I learned then.

  12. Hi Martha! Being from Norman, OK my church youth group took an annual trip to 6 Flags every summer, and I made it every year from 1989-1995! I love Six Flags and really miss those yearly trips to the park. I had always noticed the flags, but I honestly didn't begin to be interested in any kind of history - of anything - until I started reading Christian historical fiction in 2012. I had not heard about the history of Texas and its flags though, until now. You've got my interest piqued though, and now I'm going to have to try to learn more about my own state of Oklahoma, and if it has a history of any different flags than what we have now!
    kam110476 at gmail dot com

    1. Kam, Oklahoma has a fascinating history as well. While traveling to Tulsa to visit our son and his family, I read and learned a lot about Oklahoma. That info became the basis for my first series, Winds Across the Prairie. It's set in a made up town northwest of Oklahoma City and Guthrie. The series is still available if you are interested. Thanks for stopping by.

  13. I grew up and still live in Gonzales, Texas. I remember singing songs about the six flags in Kindergarten. I really enjoy the history and influence all these peoples had over Texas.

    1. Forgot to add my email. meganleighwilliamson at yahoo dot com

  14. I had not heard of this before, but it was very interesting to read. I really don't know a lot about Texas history.



  15. I knew Texas belonged to Mexico and Spain and the Confederacy but enjoyed looking at the flags. sm wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com