Republic of Texas Maritime Auxiliary flags
Flag designs for a seafaring nation
From the start of the Texas Revolution in 1835 until joining the United States in 1846, Texas maintained an independent navy to protect its maritime trade routes during the Revolution and beyond. The Republic believed Texas would become a commercial power dependent on maritime trade, and despite the lack of funds to build docks or harbors or encourage trade, a series of maritime flags was commissioned. The flags designed by Austin artist Peter Krag are, from left to right, the Revenue Service Flag, Pilot’s Flag, and Coastal Trade Flag. There is no evidence that any of these flags were produced and used.
The provisional government of Texas passed a bill on November 25, 1835, organizing the Texas Navy. Four schooners were purchased two months later. Even with its small fleet size during the Revolution, the navy prevented reinforcements and provisions from reaching a Mexican naval base at a crucial moment, stopped a Mexican blockade, and seized dozens of Mexican vessels whose cargoes were sent to the Texas volunteer army. By 1837, all of the ships had been destroyed or sold. The cash-strapped Republic did not have ships again until 1839, when it purchased six new vessels.
The operative career of the Navy came to an end when Texas and Mexico called a truce in 1843, and the fleet was transferred to the U.S. Navy when Texas became a state.
Courtesy Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin
Time Period: 1835 - 1844
This artifact is not on view.