By NICK HUNTSMAN
Friends of the History Center
Perhaps one of the greatest examples of the famous Texas spirit comes in the form of a flag. The Gonzales flag, more commonly known as the “Come and Take It” flag, truly exemplifies that spirit. The battle of Gonzales was the first military engagement of the Texas revolution against Mexico.
In 1835, the Mexicans foresaw the coming conflict with Texas. Santa Anna’s commander sent a troop of dragoons to retake a cannon that had been given to the Texians in Gonzales for protection against the Indians four years earlier. The Texians did not want to give up their cannon and decided to fight the Mexicans rather than give it up.
A council of five citizens came together to create a flag that showed defiance and separation from Mexico, and also bore no resemblance to the Mexican flag. The design was a black cannon on a white background with the words “Come and Take It”. This flag was flown at the skirmish of Gonzales on October 2, 1835. The Mexican soldiers retreated after several hours of firing.
The Texians then proceeded to head to the Alamo. Before they arrived, their carriage broke down and they could no longer take the cannon with them. They left the cannon and the flag near a creek and to this day the original flag has not been found.
Nick Huntsman is a Junior Historian member of the Friends of the History Center, which is located at 801 E. Cedar in Rockport. The current exhibit, “Historic Flags of Texas,” features 16 flags from the collection of Richard Robertson. Of course the Gonzales flag can be seen. The exhibit runs through Aug.15. Call 727-9214 or go to www.aransashistorycenter.org for more information.