Throughout the storied history of Nacogdoches, nine different flags have flown over the region. The six flags of Texas are well known, but three others have also been raised. The traditional six flags include those for Spain (1519 – 1685; 1690 – 1821), France (1685 – 1690), Mexico (1821 – 1836), the Republic of Texas (1836 – 1845), the United States of America (1845 – 1861; 1865 – present) and the Confederate States of America (1861 – 1865).
The earliest of the other flags was an emerald banner for the Gutiérrez-Magee Expedition (1812 – 1813). Lt. Augustus Magee and Col. Bernardo Gutiérrez organized an army which controlled territory east of San Antonio. However, Gutiérrez lost support, a Mexican force regained San Antonio, and the army disbanded. Another flag contained red and white stripes with one white star on a red field, representing the Long Republic (1819). Col. James long set up a government from Nacogdoches, which fell to Spanish forces; he was later captured and killed. The final of the three flags was red and white, and inscribed with the words, “Independence, Freedom and Justice.” It belonged to the Republic of Fredonia (1826 – 1827). Empresario Haden H. Edwards proclaimed a new republic following the Mexican Revocation of his colonial charter. When he failed to enlist aid, Edwards fled, ending the rebellion.
Nacogdoches has been a gateway to Texas for hundreds of years, not only for settlers but also for ideals. The nine flags of Nacogdoches represent revolutionary activity that was essential to the spirit of Texas. In 1997, residents began celebrating the nine flags festival, which commemorates the city’s importance as a center of freedom and a community vital to Texas history.