If you're visiting or new to Texas, you might wonder what that "Come and Take It" flag is about. Here's the story behind it.

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Although the 1824 Constitution would certainly not be officially repealed until after the fight of Gonzales, Santa Anna efficiently abolished the commonwealth system and also replaced it with a centrist one.

Just as the British before the American war for self-reliance were concerned about rebels and also sought come confiscate weapons at Concord, Santa Anna’s routine was concerned about Texans being armed.

Knowing the a small, brass cannon had actually been offered to Gonzales year before, a tape of mexican cavalryman under the assignment of Colonel Domingo de Ugartechea checked out retrieve the in so late September 1835.

When the order got to him, the leader that the town, Andrew Ponton, stalled by demanding the order be signed by another political chief. In the meantime, he hidden the cannon, inquiry for equipped assistance from other Texans, and also hid the boats and the ferry the were in the Guadalupe River simply south that Gonzales.

Within the next few days, Ugartechea sent Captain Francisco Castañeda follow me with practically two hundred soldiers come forcefully confiscate the cannon.

When Castañeda arrived outside of the town, he to be stuck on the other side the the river and also the citizens refused to let him cross.

According to the Texas State historical Association (TSHA), a Coushatta Indian told the mexican soldiers the the force of Texas volunteers had actually grown to around 140. Together a result, Castañeda decided to relocate his camp seven miles west under the river to a ar where they could “cross without any type of embarrassment.”

The Texas militia elected John Moore to offer as your colonel, and also Moore decided to preemptively strike the mexican at dawn.

The citizens dug up the cannon and placed it come a wagon. Also though they had actually no cannon balls, a blacksmith forged part ammunition to use out of stole scraps.

Someone also hastily fashioned a flag for the militia come fight under: a big piece of white fabric with a black color cannon painted ~ above it and the words “come and take it” composed underneath.

The TSHA offers two accounts of that made the flag.

One account states that “a couple of days prior to the battle, two young females from Gonzales, Caroline Zumwalt and also Eveline DeWitt,” all set the flag. It goes on to say that was used throughout the battle, but was shortly “lost there is no a trace.”

Another account claims that Sara Seely DeWitt, the wife of the late green DeWitt who started the colony, produced the flag through the aid of her daughter, Naomi, utilizing Naomi’s wedding dress.

Regardless of i m sorry “inspired soul” — to use the native of Fehrenbach — make the flag, “come and also take it” ended up being a price of the Texas change and Texans’ defiance versus the tyrannical Santa Anna that abandoned and overturned the 1824 Constitution.

After the cannon and flag to be ready, the militia set out to strike the mexico soldiers who had actually moved down the Guadalupe River. Even once they had come near their enemy, they had actually to wait a little longer for the special fog come lift through the dawning sun.

As the work broke, the Texans fired a shot of the cannon. While the missed, Castañeda conveniently requested a parley to talk peacefully v Moore.

According come Fehrenbach, Moore stated that the cannon had been offered for “the defense that themselves and the constitution,” and said the Castañeda to be “acting under the orders of the tyrant Santa Anna, who had actually broken and also trampled underfoot every the state and also federal constitutions of Mexico, except that the Texas.” 

Texans were all set to fight back.

Castañeda responded the he was additionally a federalist, however as a soldier had to follow his orders. “At this,” Fehrenbach writes, “Moore went back to his own lines and also ordered the Texans to open up fire.”

But supposedly Ugartechea had additionally ordered Castañeda to stop open problem if possible, for this reason the outnumbered mexican troops retreated before much of a fight could also begin.

Nonetheless, favor the shoot heard roughly the world that to be fired in ~ Lexington, the cannon blast in ~ Gonzales marked a transforming point in the pages of history — the skirmish top top October 2, 1835 to be the beginning of the Texas Revolution.

Since then, the Gonzales flag has pertained to be an enduring symbol because that Texans. The city that Gonzales also has an annual “Come and also Take It” festival, which will certainly be held once again this weekend in the town east of mountain Antonio.

The speak has additionally been choose up by 2nd Amendment advocates, who usage it in solution to plan proposals because that gun restrictions.

For instance, once Beto O’Rourke exclaimed, “Hell, yes, we’re going come take your AR-15” in the last presidential debate, plenty of on Twitter comment to him with the iconic phrase.

Texas State Rep. Briscoe Cain also responded to the tweet with a sports of the phrase, stating, “My AR is ready for you Robert Francis.” O’Rourke subsequently responded by explain it was a fatality threat and also reporting him to Twitter, which has suspended Cain’s account until he gets rid of the initial tweet.

Some have actually criticized the use of the phrase by gun legal rights advocates, yet there is no denying that the term has historically been tied come instances wherein a tyrannical government demanded weapons be rotate over.

Even long before the occasions at Gonzales, “come and take it” had actually been supplied in a comparable circumstance.

Plutarch, the famous Greek biographer, recounted an episode in between the invading King Xerxes of Persia and King Leonidas of Sparta.

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According to Plutarch, Xerxes called Leonidas the he might be the sole leader of all Greece if the yielded, however Leonidas replied, “If friend had any type of knowledge the the noble things of life, you would refrain from coveting others’ possessions; yet for me to die for greek is much better than to be the sole leader over the human being of my race.”

The firm answer aggravated Xerxes, who then request the Spartans “Hand over arms.” Leonidas’ reply? “Come and also take them” — or “molon labe” in the initial Greek text.

Even though Texans were no the very first to use the phrase, the flag through a lone star and a an easy cannon is uniquely Texan and leaves a an easy message because that all who dare infringe upon their liberty and also God-given ideal to self-defense: “Come and also Take It.”