Did you know that 200 years ago, a small band of settlers marched on the Spanish garrison in Baton Rouge, took it over, and hoisted the flag of the Republic of West Florida, which was the white lone star on a blue background? West Florida encompassed the northshore of Lake Ponchartrain and the Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coasts, including Mobile. They claimed Mobile, but couldn't run the Spanish out of there. The Spanish territory of West Florida also included the Florida Panhandle, but that area was not included in the Republic of West Florida (the map included is the colonial area of West Florida, not the republic).
Growing up in New Orleans and South Mississippi, this is my homeland. I knew about the Spanish and British territories of West Florida, but I didn't know that it was its own republic from September 23, 1810 until December 10, 1810, approximately 90 days. And, we even were the first to have the Lone Star flag! Texas copied it from us! That is so cool! They used it in the war for Texas' independence and the Confederacy used it in the initial battles of the Civil War, calling it the Bonnie Blue Flag.
I've always thought that South Louisiana, South Mississippi, South Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle should be its own state. Culturally, there are many similiarities and these areas are totally different than the other parts of each state that they belong to. We share the same food, same way of life, same culture, and everyone travels east-west instead of north-south. To be a resident of the Gulf Coast means something geographically and culturally. Now, I find out that this area was once its own country, if even for a short amount of time! The United States annexed West Florida shortly after this and brought it under U.S. control. Dang imperialists. 🙂
So, I tip my hat to the patriots of the Republic of West Florida and its short-lived independence!
- West Floriday, that lovely nation,
- Free from king and tyranny,
- Thru’ the world shall be respected,
- For her true love of Liberty.