Five flags carried at Battle of San Jacinto reunited for first time since 1836
Installation marks 180th anniversary of decisive victory in Texas Revolution
APRIL 12, 2016 (AUSTIN, TX) Marking the Texas state holiday of San Jacinto Day on April 21, 2016, the Bullock Texas State History Museum will display together for the first time in 180 years five historic flags present at the Battle of San Jacinto. Fought on April 21, 1836 near present-day Houston, the battle was the decisive conflict of the Texas Revolution.
Led by General Sam Houston, the Texian Army defeated General Antonio López de Santa Anna's Mexican army at the Battle of San Jacinto — a fight that lasted 18 minutes. The victory ended the Texas Revolution, which began in October 1835 when the first shot was fired at the Battle of Gonzalez. The outcome of the San Jacinto battle gained Texas its independence from Mexico.
Flags that will be on view at the museum include the Newport Rifles Company battle flag, three Mexican battalion flags — Matamoros, Toluca and Guerrero — and a Mexican guidon.
"It's an honor to display these flags together for the first time since the Battle of San Jacinto," said Bullock Museum Director Dr. Victoria Ramirez. "The battle marks a pivotal moment in Texas history that fundamentally shaped the state's identity and path forward. Each flag represents the aspirations of the soldiers and nations that carried them and is a tangible reminder of the struggles faced by both Texans and Mexicans during the Texas Revolution."
The Newport Rifles Company battle flag, also known as the San Jacinto Battle Flag, which is made of silk and adorned with a painting of Lady Liberty, was carried through the Battle of San Jacinto by Texian volunteer troops who arrived from Kentucky to fight under the command of General Sidney Sherman. The only remaining flag in the state carried by Texan forces, it is part of the collection of the State Preservation Board and normally hangs in the Texas State Capitol behind the podium used by the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives when in session.
The four Mexican battalion standards that will be on view are on loan to the Bullock Museum from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the Dallas Historical Society. Several were present at the siege of the Alamo. All were captured by Texian troops during or shortly after the Battle of San Jacinto.
The Matamoros Battalion flag represented a unit comprised of 350 of Mexico's most elite troops. The Battalion served with Santa Anna during his invasion of Texas and was one of the units that stormed the Alamo. Carried into battle at San Jacinto, the flag was captured there by Texas forces on April 21, 1836.
The Toluca Battalion flag was the symbol of one of the most highly regarded fighting units in the Mexican army which stormed the north wall of the Alamo compound. After the Toluca Battalion's near annihilation at San Jacinto, this silk flag was taken by Texian soldiers in retaliation.
The Guerrero Battalion flag was carried by standing forces within the Republic of Mexico's national army named for Mexican revolutionary war hero Vincente Guerrero. This flag was captured by Sam Houston's troops at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.
A Mexican tricolor guidon is on loan to the museum from the Dallas Historical Society. This silk and linen embroidered swallow-tail flag was carried by either Dragoons or Lancers from the permanent Tampico and Guanajuato territorial regiments, Mexican cavalry regiments who fought at Goliad and later San Jacinto. The Tampico regiment guarded General Santa Anna, and this flag was captured outside the General's tent.
Visitors will have a rare opportunity to see all five flags presented together through August 2016. Those interested in learning more about historic flags are invited to return to the Bullock Museum Sept. 30, 2016 to see "American Flags," a special exhibition that explores the roots and cultural importance of the nation's most iconic symbol through historic flags, original works of art, and memorabilia.
The five Texas-Revolution era battle flags will be on view in the Bullock Museum's second floor permanent gallery beginning April 21, 2016, the date that also marks the official 15th anniversary of the Bullock Texas State History Museum, which opened its doors to the public in 2001. Visit TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512) 936-8746 for hours and admission prices.
The Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin includes three floors of exhibitions, an IMAX® theater, a special-effects theater, café and museum store. The Museum collaborates with more than 700 museums, libraries, archives and individuals to display original historical artifacts and produce exhibitions that illuminate and celebrate Texas history and culture. Named for the state's 38th Lieutenant Governor, Bob Bullock, the iconic building is at 1800 N. Congress Avenue. For more, visit TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512) 936-8746.
This press release is part of the The Bullock Texas State History Museum Media Kit
The Bullock Texas State History Museum is the state's official history museum and features three floors of Texas History Galleries with artifacts that span more than 13,000 years, as well as an IMAX® Theatre, a special-effects theater, convenient on-site parking, a café and Museum Store. Located in Austin, the Museum welcomes 450,000 visitors each year. Since 2001, more than 7 million visitors have been immersed in the stories of Texas, connecting historical relevance to a contemporary world. The Museum collaborates with more than 700 museums, libraries, archives and individuals to display original historical artifacts and host exhibitions that illuminate and celebrate Texas history and culture. View Media Kit