By Beth Kuhles, Chronicle Correspondent, June 1, 2009, 9:40AM, chron.com
Conroe is proposing a Texas Flag Park adjacent to the Conroe Library at Texas 105 and Interstate 45. The park would include a bronze statue called “The Texian,” representing a common solider during the Texas Revolution as well as the 13 flags that flew during the various battles. Among those are:
Coahuila y Tejas 1820-1830: Colonist flag under that flew under two region of Cahuila and Texas; may have been carried by Capt. Juan Seguin’s company during Battle of Bexar.
Alamo 1824 Flag 1835-1836: Texas Conservatives flag, one of several flags that flew at the Alamo for 13 days as less than 200 Texans held off a Mexican army of over 5,000 men.
First Naval Flag of Texas 1836: Texas Navy flag crucial to keeping supply lines open during the Texas revolution because it resembled the United States flag.
Flag of the Alabama Red Rovers 1836: Banner of the Red Rovers, a volunteer company from Alabama that aided Texas forces in 1836. Many were massacred at Goliad.
Flag of the New Orleans Greys from the Alamo: 1835: Captured by San Anna’s army, this flag was one of several flown at the Alamo. Represented 100 men from 12 states and six countries that fought in the Texas Revolution.
Gonzales Flag 1835: Come & Take It First flag of the Texas Revolution used at the Battle of Gonzales in October 1835. May have been carried by Stephen F. Austin’s volunteer army to the siege of Bexar.
Sarah Dodson Flag 1835: First tri-color “Lone Star” flag that flew as Texas Independence was declared in March 1836.
Johanna Troutman Flag 1836: Liberty or Death One of the most inspirational symbols during the dark days between the fall of the Alamo and the victory at San Jacinto.
Dimmit’s Goliad 1836: It is not generally known that the first Declaration of Independence from Mexico was made, drawn up and signed on the alter of Our Lady of Loreto Chapel at Presidio La Bahia. To celebrate the signing, Captain Phillip Dimmitt’s men made and ran up this first flag of independence.
San Jacinto Flag 1836: In a 20 minute battle, 630 of the 1,500 Mexicans were killed by the 743 attacking Texans and Santa Anna was captured.
Lorenzo DeZavala’s Flag 1836: First Republic of Texas Flag Lorenzo DeZavala, “a Texan by adoption and by choice” is credited by some with designing this Lone Star Flag of the Republic of Texas.
Texas Second Republic 1836: Burnet Flag. Under this flag, Texas was recognized as a sovereign and independent nation, a status it enjoyed for nine years
Texas Third Republic 1846-present: The Lone Star Flag Texas’ flag during the last seven years as an independent country. Our current state flag since 1846.
Like the giant statue of Sam Houston in Huntsville, Conroe hopes to develop a flag park on the Interstate 45 feeder road to lure tourists to Montgomery County, the birthplace of the Texas flag.
The Texas Flag Park, which will be developed adjacent to the Conroe Branch of the Montgomery County Memorial Library System, will include the 13 flags flown during the Texas Revolution. The centerpiece of the park will be a life-sized bronze statue called “The Texian,” representing the common man that volunteered for the Texans army.
Montgomery County recently donated the land to Conroe for the park. The council approved $65,600 for the design of the new facility, and it commissioned local sculptor Craig Campobella for $57,475 to design “The Texian,” contingent upon the council funding the actual park.
“The hope is that this display will serve as an educational tool for the citizens of Texas, become a source of local pride and inspiration to Montgomery County and enhance heritage tourism by being a point of destination for the great number of tourists that pass through this area daily,” said Assistant City Administrator Paul Virgadamo Jr. in a memo to the city council.
About $500,000 has been earmarked for the development of the park, a portion of the $6 million sale of land to the Conroe Industrial Development Council to expand Conroe Park North. Half of the funds are being dedicated to new parks, while the other half will be used for downtown development.
The proposed flag park would fly the 13 flags of the Texas Revolution, commemorating key battles or troops that fought to the state’s independence. Among them are flag designs that flew at the battles of the Alamo, Bexar, Goliad and San Jacinto. The final flag design is the Lone Star flag, which was created by Charles B. Stewart of Montgomery and is still used today.
The park also will include a granite bust of Stewart at the entrance to the park. Each flag will have a plaque describing the flag and its role towards Texas Independence.
The development of the park is expected to take a year. The council debated the timing of the contracts Wednesday because of the overall cost of the park is not known. The design contracts is expected to identify costs within about three months, but the contract for the statue was awarded because it is expected to take a year to build.
“I’m in favor of it and I support it,” said Mayor Webb Melder. “We’re in favor of the entire project and the money has been set aside. In fairness to concerns expressed by council members, the statue will be contingent upon the final approval of park plans and costs.”