On Thursday, April 21, 2011, 13 flags [were] hoisted to the tops of 35-foot flagpoles, unfurled against the backdrop of a Texas sky. In the foreground, a bronze monument entitled “The Texian” – a symbol of a veteran volunteer in the Texas Revolutionary army; brandishing a Texas flag – [made] its debut. Grit and determination lie in his every poured crease and wrinkle. ~ Mary Chavoustie, March 2011, Texas Monthly [edited 4.21.2011]
The LANDMARK: The Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park
Texas remains fascinating in the history of the USA because it was once a sovereign nation. During its early years and valiant efforts to free itself, many heroes led revolutionary causes with the goal of a free and independent Texas.
During that time, many flags were flown that not only identified the will of the people but led volunteer troops into battle.
Everyone is aware of the six national flags that flew over the Texas region but few are aware of the many flags that flew as symbols of the many volunteer organizations fighting for Texas during its infancy and its struggle to become independent long before the Lone Star Flag was voted and settled on by the Texas congress in 1839.
As the birthplace of the Lone Star Flag, Montgomery County holds a very special designation in the hearts of all Texans. The Texas Flag is one of the most recognized symbols in the world. It flies proudly over every courthouse in Texas, every police station, every stadium, every school and university, and in front of homes and businesses. The Lone Star Flag is on bumper stickers, chairs, key rings, record albums, shirts and even shoes! The Texas flag is a worldwide symbol of freedom, strength of will and pride. Certainly no state in the Union holds as high a regard for their flag as Texans do!
And that symbol that joins us all together as one began in Montgomery County.
Given our history as an independent nation, an educational park celebrating this historic area and the history of the state flags which flew over our great state has become the most unique park in Texas. This outdoor museum draws people from around the globe while continuing to serve as a valuable educational tool for the schoolchildren of Texas and its citizens.
The TEXIAN, the bronze monumental sculpture by award winning sculptor Craig Campobella, captures the look of the common volunteer Texian. Campobella chose to portray a veteran of the Texas Revolution three years after the battle of San Jacinto and on the day the Lone Star Flag (that we fly today) unfurled across the Republic of Texas for the first time.
The 14 ft bronze is full of symbolism. There are 13 rocks under The TEXIAN’s left foot representing the 13 day siege at the Alamo. There are 354 painstakingly made marks in the rocks, one for each soldier massacred at Goliad. There are 18 buttons on The TEXIAN’s coat, shirt and pants; each standing for every minute fought at San Jacinto. At the five o’clock position you can see the tie and sash spell out Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end, as it was approximately 5 p.m. on April 21, 1836 when the Battle of San Jacinto came to a decisive end. Under the right boot are nine stones, one for each Texian that died at the Battle of San Jacinto. And under the right toe of the bronze is the Santa Anna stone, a symbol of the discomfort the Mexican general rendered to the Republic of Texas long after the glorious Battle of San Jacinto.
Represented in the park are 13 significant flags flown during the Texas Revolution as Texas became a sovereign nation. With over 50 to choose from, 13 were selected to symbolize the 13 colonies of Texas at the time and the 13 day siege at the Alamo. Historian Jim Walker worked tirelessly with Stephen Hardin and Stephen Moore, noted Texas authors and historians, in choosing the flags.
Each flag has its own unique story, condensed onto individual bronze plaques.
The bronze bust of Dr. Charles B. Stewart rests atop a five foot tall granite pedestal at the entrance of the outdoor museum, a fitting tribute to the gentleman credited by the Texas State Legislature for having created the iconic State Flag of Texas, the Lone Star Flag. Dr. Stewart’s illustrious history, along with directions to his birth and burial place in Montgomery, Texas, are engraved on the pedestal along with the names of individuals, groups and businesses that were involved in the making of the outdoor museum as well as the names of Conroe City Council Members and leaders of Montgomery County.
Craig Campobella sculpted the two times life-size bust of Dr. Stewart during the summer of 2010 in an abandoned building in Conroe’s downtown square. There was no air conditioning and only one outlet for electricity. To make matters more challenging, there was only one known photograph from the 1800s of the subject. The photograph was less than flattering and very grainy after decades of copying.
The final bronze bust thrilled the descendents of Dr. Stewart on the day of unveiling, April 21, 2011. Pat Spackey, great-great-great granddaughter of Dr. Stewart, was so moved by the finished sculpture, she wept at the sight.
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 for Montgomery County, and enhance heritage tourism by being a point of destination for the great number of tourists who pass through this area daily.How to Make a Bronze