New Orleans Greys
Extra, extra! Read all about it! “THE FIRST COMPANY OF TEXAN VOLUNTEERS! FROM NEW ORLEANS. God and Liberty” The image and words on the flag of the New Orleans Greys looks and reads more like a newspaper headline than the traditional, symbolic images of most flags of the period. With such a bold and clear proclamation, there’s zero doubt to whom the flag belongs, where they’re from, and at the time it was presented to them there was no doubt about their purpose either.
By October 22, 1835 at the time of the Greys formation, Texas was in the midst of a struggle for independence from Mexico or at least one of resistance leading to eventual revolution. Many settlers, mostly Americans, were upset with dictatorial actions and eroding liberties at the hand of a Mexican general named Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana over the previous few years. Independence was on the mind of many while others held out hope for reformation of the government back to the Mexican Constitution of 1824. Either way, the territory was thick with volunteers as far east and south as Louisiana ready to push Mexico out of the picture; the men of the Greys were among the first who answered the call to stand up to perceived tyranny.
Comprising over one hundred men from 12 states and 6 foreign countries, the New Orleans Greys were outfitted with grey uniforms and all sorts of infantry furnishings courtesy of Nicholas Sterne, a close friend of Sam Houston. Other New Orleans sympathizers of Texan independence contributed supplies as well. By the evening of the initial recruitment drive, the men were split into two companies totaling approximately 60 each. Captain Thomas Breece led the first company and Captain Robert Morris led the second with muskets for the former and rifles for the latter.
The two companies set out a few days apart heading for San Antonio to join other organized forces. Morris took a water route to the south out of New Orleans and Breece’s company took an overland route to the northwest. On the way to San Antonio, Breece’s company was greeted by the young women of San Augustine who presented them with the fine flag seen on our patch, The New Orleans Greys Flag. The flag was originally a pale blue with gold fringes but time has faded the colors and rare appearances of the flag show it to be white in color today.
It is thought that the flag of the New Orleans Greys was captured at the Battle of The Alamo by Santa Ana. However, it is possible given the pristine nature of the flag (no battle marks) that it was captured in a later engagement with another detachment of Breece’s Greys that were not posted at the Alamo. Either way, Santa Ana sent it to Mexico in an effort to bolster his claim that the US was fomenting sedition in the Mexican territory.
The flag is held today by the Mexican government in a museum, a trophy of their victory at the Alamo. Efforts by US politicians to have the flag returned or loaned to Texas have been repeatedly rebuffed. Even many captured Mexican, war-time flags have been returned to Mexico to try and coax it out of government hands to no avail.
Our New Orleans Greys flag patch represents a unique piece of history honoring the volunteers who served the citizens of Texas by standing up to an oppressive government. Add it to your collection to make it clear you stand on the side of men and women who will give their lives for liberty.
- Hook Backing
- Release: TBD
This flag was built from the ground up using photos of the actual flag located Mexico. All photos are at an angle and all were low resolution so some detail was hard to determine. There seems to be a something scrubbed from above the bird which we could not determine, thus we left it blank. The grey is on par with what we think it may have been prior to almost 200 years of light exposure.