ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel


Updated on April 25, 2010

On the 23rd day of September this year the Bonnie Blue Flag will celebrate her public existence of 200 yrs. The Bonnie Blue Flag has been heralded as the unofficial flag of the Confederate States of America, mistaken as the Lone Star State Flag of Texas, and her existence and true roots are still unknown by many Americans. Today I salute her along with her history and all that she stands for as she approaches this milestone.

She emerged from the sewing basket of Melissa Johnson wife of Major Isaac Johnson, the commander of the The West Florida Republic Dragoons on Sept 23, 1810 over a freshly conquered Spanish Fort in Baton Rouge LA. This was 35 years before Texas reached Statehood and when Jefferson Davis the one and only president of "The Confederate United States" was a mere 2 years of age. Two things happened at that moment of victory. Baton Rouge became property of The West Republic of Florida and the Bonnie Blue Flag became the official flag of that short lived independent country.

. **When people see the word dragoon and confederate in the same story line, red flags will undoubtedly go up. I want to clarify any misinterpretation of this before we go any further.

Dragoon was a military term used for many hundreds of years prior to this era by many different countries. It named the battle aspects of a unit as does Infantry, Calvary, etc. Dragoons of the timeline referenced here were considered as war divisions that were trained in horse riding and fighting. It would be totally out of context for dragoon as used here to be associated with the KKK which was not formed until 55 years later in 1865.**

The Bonnie Blue Flag - Gods and Generals

Most mainstream history lessons taught today will not reference The Republic of West Florida as it was only in existence for less than 90 days. Still it is a part of American heritage and was the birthplace of the Bonnie Blue. It had a very complicated and ever changing ownership and it's history reminds me much of the board game Risk.

The incidents leading to the rise of the Bonnie Blue and the short lived West Florida Republic actually began in "The Seven Year War" better known today as the French and Indian War. This was a battle between France and Britain on our southern turf which ended in 1763. Prior to 1763 the area belonged partly to Spain and included a Garrison at present day Pensacola FL and partly to France which had the outpost in Baton Rouge. The French lost the war and as part of the loss there was a surrendering of the rights by France to Spain of the land west of the Mississippi. and included about one third of Mississippi and Alabama and also what is referred to as "the toe" of Louisiana. Present day history refers to this area as part of The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 but that is not how it went.




Florida had been divided into East and West in the signing of The Treaty of Paris by Britain and and the United States marking the end of the American Revolutionary War in 1783 but its boundaries were not specified. In 1784 Spain wanted the boundaries of the territories they owned expanded. An agreement was reached in 1795 with the signing of yet another treaty the very important but rarely referenced Treaty of San Lorenzo (also known as the Pickney Treaty). One of the most significant aspects of this treaty was that it opened up the use of the Mississippi River for use by the young United States.

The boundary and possession battles still continued to exist. In 1803 the area was thought to have been bought by the United States in The Louisiana Purchase. As pointed out before the French had ceded the property in 1763 but Spain returned it to France in 1800 with the signing of a secret treaty, The Treaty of San Ildefonso but denied they had done so and continued to control it.

In 1808 Napoleon placed his brother Joseph on the Spanish Throne. This was the straw that broke the camels back and a movement for freedom began to take shape. The hot blooded American settlers and plantation owners who were referred to by the Spanish as "White Indians" (the most degrading insult of the era) felt the right to negotiate there own lives had been seized and grew tired of the upheaval surrounding whose rule they lived under. This resulted in the skirmish in Baton Rouge in 1810 along with the forming of The Republic of West Florida.

Fulmar Skipworth was the designated President of this fresh new country. He had been one of the main negotiators for the Louisiana Purchase under Thomas Jefferson. He swore to die for the Lone Star Bonnie Blue but on Oct 12, 1810 less than 3 months after the Republic formed it was annexed into the United States and ceased to exist without any further bloodshed.

This is a very complicated time line and I hope I have reconstructed it accurately. It is very easy for me to see why our modern history books just lumped all the above referenced property into the Louisiana Purchase but by doing so they overlook some important features of our nations history. These things all happened and are the roots of The Bonnie Blue Flag and the ongoing symbolism of a lone star as that of independence

Sheet Music Cover

After that the Bonnie Blue was tucked away but not forgotten. Descendents, bearing the original crest of a lone star came to be and they held her morals and beliefs tight.

The Texas Navy flew a modified "stars and stripes" version of the Bonnie Blue with a single star over a period of years preceding the Civil War, and the Republic of Texas adopted a Lone Star variation for their official flag in 1839.

California portrayed the lone star on a flag in 1846 as a show of support to Texas in its conflict with Mexico.

On the 9th day of January in 1861 she flew again this time over Jackson Mississippi as sign of their independence from the United States.

An Irish immigrant named Harry McCarthy was present at this event and was inspired to write the lyrics of a song about Independence. The chorus of the tune quickly became one of the most popular marching songs of the Confederate States of America and The Bonnie Blue Flag was deemed their "unofficial flag."

Later that year Mississippi adopted the Magnolia Flag which still bore the lone star as a proud symbol of independence.

Now 200 years old and united with many descendants The Bonnie Blue still proudly flies displaying the original lone star on a solid blue background and supporting her original cause, Independence. It was this core desire that established the original 13 colonies that our United States has now grown from.

Today as the desire for independence and freedom from unfair sanctions grows on American citizens, The Bonnie Blue is being unfurled and flown throughout this country in large numbers by political groups, business owners, and individuals as an expression of desire for independence and "getting back to our roots".

Along the 85 mile stretch of Interstate 12 (which is a bypass around New Orleans) and in the southern Louisiana Parishes that are situated on what was once a apart of The West Florida Republic you will see many roadsigns depicting the Bonnie Blue.

The blood that courses through the veins of the bearers of The Bonnie Blue and her family is the same blood that ran in the veins of our forefathers, rebels, and the "white indians" of The Republic of West Florida.Contained in this blood is the belief in the right to independence from repression, better known as freedom. Billions have shed blood and died for us to maintain this right.

Watch for her in your surroundings as people passively display her. Know what she stands for. Remember these words of the song written by Harry McCarthy in 1861.

"Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star."

Most importantly be thankful and uphold all of those who have been and are now brave enough to defend our right to freedom no matter what and iregardless of the repressive force.

God Bless America!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Well written and informative article. I enjoyed it very much. How did she come to be named the Bonnie Blue?

    • TrueBlueSue profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Lakeland FL

      TY dahoglund.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      This is a very interesting bit of history. I like to see some of these little known aspects of our heritage.

    • TrueBlueSue profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Lakeland FL

      J D '

      I am honored and humbled by your post.

      Thank You.

      Those Kemper brothers were freedom fighters to say the least.

      They originated from St. Francisville Virginia and I from near St. Francisville IL. All of us southern by choice :)

    • J D Murrah profile image

      J D Murrah 

      8 years ago from Refugee from Shoreacres, Texas


      I enjoyed your hub. It was an informative and enjoyable read. Many people are unaware of the links between the Republic of West Florida and Texas. Many of the men in the West Florida episode were members of the Guiterrez-Magee episode in Texas.

    • TrueBlueSue profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Lakeland FL

      Thank You Randy!

      I feel like I just got the gold GoodHubkeeping Seal of Approval.

      Me and Bonnie Go way back not quite 200 hundred years though :)

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 

      8 years ago from Southern Georgia

      You have researched this subject well, TBS. A very interesting read!

    • TrueBlueSue profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Lakeland FL

      Well now you know and now you will notice.

      Thanks for the compliments...coming from a professional writer like you is especially rewarding.

      I really get a kick out of your Benn Joshin Files!

    • Gawth profile image

      Ron Gawthorp 

      8 years ago from Millboro, Virginia

      Very informative and well written. Good job. I had no previous knowledge of "Bonnie Blue"


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)