Liberty or Death: The Troutman Flag

Troutman Lone Star State FlagThe Texas Revolution (1835-1836) was the inspiration for the Lone Star State’s earliest flags, including the “Liberty or Death” Troutman Flag. Flown by a company of men from Georgia who came to assist Texas with the Revolution, the flag was first unfurled in what is now Freeport, Texas, and carried to Goliad, where it was raised as the national flag by Texas Colonel James Fannin upon learning of the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Troutman Flag Design

Sometimes referred to as the First Lone Star Flag, the original flag was white silk with the words “Liberty or Death” stitched beneath a blue five-point star. The reverse side was said to include the Latin phrase, “UBI LIBERTAS HABITAT, IB NOSTRA PATRIA EST”, meaning, “Where liberty dwells, there is our fatherland”.

Where the Troutman Flag Got Its Name

The Troutman Flag is named for its designer and maker, Joanna Troutman, an 18-year-old woman from Baldwin County, Georgia. She made the flag for the Georgia Battalion, a group of volunteers – including Troutman’s brothers and cousins – on their way from Macon, Georgia to assist Texas in the fight for independence against Mexico.

Known as the Betsy Ross of Texas for her flag making history, Troutman’s portrait hangs in the legislative chambers of the Texas Capital and a bronze statue was erected in her memory at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.

History of the Troutman Flag

The Georgia Battalion of volunteers first flew the Troutman Flag on January 8, 1836, over the American Hotel in Velasco TX, now Freeport. It is said that the flag was accidentally damaged in Velasco, but continued its journey with the men to Goliad, where they joined Colonel James Fannin and the Texas troops.

On March 8, 1836, Colonel Fannin raised the Troutman Flag once again upon learning of the Texas Declaration of Independence. However, on March 27, 1836, Fannin and almost all his troops, including the Georgians, were imprisoned and executed in the Goliad Massacre. The tattered flag was never recovered, but it was not forgotten. The Troutman flag remained a symbol of inspiration for Texans during the dark days between the defeat at the Alamo on March 6 and the victory at San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, and it remains a source of Texan pride today.

Own a Piece of Texas History

In honor of the Texas Revolution, Gettysburg Flag Works has created a replica of the original Troutman flag. Proudly made in the USA, our flag is digitally printed on durable, all-weather nylon with a canvas header & brass grommet attachment. Available in a variety of sizes, the Troutman flag makes a great gift for Texans, as well as history buffs and lovers of the Lone Star State. Shop online or call 1-888-697-3524 to place an order by phone.

Troutman Flag Facts Infographic

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