The Jane Long Flag
the story of a Texas woman with true fortitude
The NTXPS logo is inspired by “the Mother of Texas”, Jane Long.
In 1818, Dr. James Long, his bride Jane (née Wilkinson from Natchez, Mississippi) and 300 troops came to Texas to free the province from Spanish rule. 20-year-old Jane sewed a flag for her husband to take into battle; it was a white star on a red field, and the first recorded use of the “Lone Star” on any flag of the Republic. Dr. Long led an expedition into and then successfully captured the town of Nacogdoches, declaring it the first capital of the Republic of Texas.
In 1821, Dr. Long went away to battle at Goliad, leaving his pregnant wife, their first child and a servant alone with a few guards at a crude fort on Bolivar Point near Galveston. Due to harsh winter conditions, with parts of Galveston Bay frozen solid, the men guarding the camp departed. The women ran out of food and had to survive by fishing. Jane fended off Karankawa and Spanish attackers by firing a cannon every morning to suggest that the fort was still protected. During a raging storm and with her maid delirious with illness, Jane delivered her own child in 1821.
At the Convention of 1836, where the Texas Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the Republic of Texas were drafted, Nacogdoches delegate Charles Taylor suggested adding the letters T-E-X-A-S between the points of the Jane Long flag design. Many national newspapers reported that summer1 that the first official Texas flag was “a plain red ground, with a single white star, of five points, and between the points the letters T E X A S.” Many historians believe that the Jane Long flag design was the first official flag of the Republic of Texas.2
Dr. Long was assassinated by Mexican troops, but his widow Jane went on to serve in multiple ways as one of the founders of our state. She received a land grant from Stephen F. Austin (unheard of for a woman at the time), and served as confidante and archivist for Ben Milam, Sam Houston, and Mirabeau B. Lamar. Her story is a fascinating and colorful one.
Many consider Jane Long the first female political advisor in Texas. The homage to her flag is a nod to the birth of Texas, and to the NTXPS commitment to serving the public’s best interest with character and determination. We aspire to the loyalty, creativity, and fortitude of Jane Long.