Sunday, November 24, 2013

Come and Take It

Yesterday I ordered my Christmas present – a “Come and Take It” flag.

The original “Come and Take It” flag played an important role in Texas history, showing determination by settlers against the central government of Mexico.

Here is the story from Wikipedia:

“In early January 1831, Green DeWitt wrote to Ramón Músquiz, the top political official of Bexar, and requested armament for defense of the colony of Gonzales. This request was granted by delivery of a small used cannon. The small bronze cannon was received by the colony and signed for on March 10, 1831, by James Tumlinson, Jr.[5] The swivel cannon was mounted to a blockhouse in Gonzales, Texas and later was the object of Texas pride. At the minor skirmish known as the Battle of Gonzales—the first battle of the Texas Revolution against Mexico—a small group of Texans successfully resisted the Mexican forces who had orders from Col. Domingo de Ugartechea to seize their cannon. As a symbol of defiance, the Texans had fashioned a flag containing the phrase "come and take it" along with a black star and an image of the cannon which they had received four years earlier from Mexican officials—this was the same message that was sent to the Mexican government when they told the Texans that they had to return their cannon—failure to comply with the Mexicans' original demands led to the failed attempt by the Mexican military to forcefully take back the cannon.”

I had always wondered what happened to the cannon, and this

http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qvg01

says that the small bronze cannon went to the Alamo, and then was lost to the Mexican army.

The cannon and the flag symbolize Texian resistance to central government decrees, particularly government’s all-too-frequent decisions to seize legal weapons from citizens.

The “Don’t Tread on Me” flag is a warning; “Come and Take It” signifies the result of not listening to free citizens. People who see government as a guarantor of all things good would never issue a warning, and certainly would not challenge their rulers.

The rest of us might be a minority, but … The warnings have been given.

(Some references mention the "military dictatorship" of Santa Anna. That is not exactly accurate. After becoming independent from Spain, Mexico saw several states attempt to secede from the central rulers in Mexico City. The Texas Revolution was but one.)

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