The Dodson Flag

Dodson Flag

The first Constitutional Convention met at Washington on the Brazos, on March 1st, 1836. Two out of three of the delegates were under 40 years old, and all had been elected for the express purpose of declaring the independence of Texas from Mexico and forming a government for the new republic. Mindful of the constant danger from the advancing Mexican army, no one knew when they all might have to leave to join the fight. On the opening day, a "Norther" blew through and the temperature inside the meeting hall - a wooden building with scraps of cloth for windows and doors - was 33 degrees. Historians record that flying over the hall was the flag designed and made by Sarah Dodson.

Recognized as the first "Lone Star" flag, she had originally created it for her husband Archelaus, a member of the Robinson company of army volunteers formed in September, 1835, at Harrisburg, Texas. After serving at Gonzales, this company marched under the Dodson flag to San Antonio to lay siege to the Alamo. Like practically all of the Texas volunteers, these men returned to their homes to prepare for winter after San Antonio had been taken from the Mexicans, not realizing the strength of the Mexican reinforcements invading Texas. After the Mexicans crushed the remaining forces at the Alamo and massacred the Texans at Goliad, the Robinson company was assigned to protect the retreating civilians. This exodus was known as the "Runaway Scrape." Plagued with measles, whooping cough and practically no provisions, the Texans made their way through the swamps and marshes on foot and by ox cart. Nearly everything was soaked by the torrents of rain and flooded streams. On April 21st, the refugees could hear the cannon fire of the battle of San Jacinto, and doubled their pace, fearing the worst. A courier on horseback from Sam Houston caught up with the convoy, and the families of Texans learned of the thrilling victory at San Jacinto.