The Alamo Flag

The Alamo Flag

The Mexican constitution of 1824 gave the people of Texas rights similar to those enjoyed at the time by the citizens of the United States. But beginning in 1829, there were four Mexican revolutions in six years and each successive government attempted to increase the control over Texas and her people. One Mexican law enacted in 1830 forbade additional American settlers — only Europeans and Mexicans were to be allowed.

Delegates representing the 13 settlements in Texas met at San Felipe, the headquarters of Austin's colony, in November of 1835 to draw up a list of grievances against the Mexicans and formed a provisional government. They expressed for a final time the Texan's willingness to remain as a part of Mexico as long as the freedoms outlined in the Constitution of 1824 were honored. To call attention to Santa Anna's breach of faith and to serve as the flag for people who wanted their rights honored, a variation of the Mexican flag was made which became quite popular in Texas. The official coat-of-arms was removed from the center of the Mexican flag and replaced with the date of 1824 to call attention to the constitution. It was this banner which flew from the walls of the Alamo.

For 13 days, fewer than 200 Texans held off the army of over 5,000 Mexican soldiers. Francisco Ruiz, the alcalde of San Antonio, an eye-witness to the last day of the battle recorded: "The Mexican army charged and was twice repulsed by the deadly fire of Travis' artillery, which resembled a constant thunder. At the third charge, the Toluca battalion commenced to scale the walls and suffered severely. Out of 830 men (in this one battalion) only 130 were left alive... The gallantry of the few Texans who defended the Alamo was really wondered at by the Mexican Army. Even the generals were astonished at their vigorous resistance and how dearly victory was bought."

The Alamo fell on March 6th, 1836. In addition to the 182 Texans who died, approximately 1500 of the best Mexican soldiers were killed and another 500 seriously wounded. The Texans in the Alamo were fighting to protect the rights outlined in the Mexican constitution of 1824, and never knew that Texas had declared its independence 4 days earlier.