Historic Flags of the Texas State Library and Archives
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Silk, 52 x 55.5 inches
This flag is a Mexican tricolor with the words "Pe. Batallon Guerrero" inscribed. The abbreviation "Pe." stands for Permanente, which signifies standing or regular army. The unit that became the Guerrero Battalion was formed in 1823 as part of the Republic of Mexico's national army. In 1833, it was named for Vicente Guerrero, a leader in the Mexican independence movement.
In 1836, the Guerrero Battalion was part of the Second Infantry Brigade, which was sent to reinforce Santa Anna's army that invaded Texas. They were not part of the Battle of the Alamo. On April 21, 1836, the three hundred men of the battalion arrived at Santa Anna’s camp along the San Jacinto River. Exhausted from the march, the men were taking a well-earned rest when, at about 4:30 in the afternoon, bugles sounded the alarm that Houston’s army had turned the tables and was attacking in full force.
The fighting lasted only 18 minutes. Most of the men of the battalion were taken prisoner and their flag captured. It is said to have been drenched in blood. The flag was displayed in 1846 during the ceremony marking the annexation of Texas to the United States. It remained in the custody of the Texas Adjutant General’s office, and was displayed for some years at the headquarters of the Frontier Battalion, the famed force of Texas Rangers that fought outlaws and Indians on the frontier from 1874-1900. By the 1920s the flag had been transferred to the custody of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.