Joanna Troutman, designer of an early Texas Lone Star flag, was born on February 19, 1818, in Baldwin County, Georgia, the daughter of Hiram Bainbridge Troutman. In 1835, in response to an appeal for aid to the Texas cause, the Georgia Battalion, commanded by Col. William Ward, traveled to Texas. Joanna Troutman designed and made a flag of white silk, bearing a blue, five-pointed star and two inscriptions: "Liberty or Death" on the obverse and, in Latin, "UBI LIBERTAS HABITAT, IBI NOSTRA PATRIA EST" (Where Liberty dwells, there is our fatherland)" on the reverse. She presented the flag to the battalion, and it was unfurled at Velasco on January 8, 1836, above the American Hotel. It was carried to Goliad, where James W. Fannin, Jr., raised it as the national flag when he heard of the Texas Declaration of Independence. The flag was accidentally torn to shreds, however, and only its remnants flew above the battle. Joanna Troutman married Solomon L. Pope in 1839, and the couple moved to Elmwood, their prosperous plantation near Knoxville, Georgia, in 1840. They had four sons. Her husband died in 1872, and Joanna married W. G. Vinson, a Georgia state legislator, in 1875. She died on July 23, 1879, at Elmwood and was buried next to her first husband. In 1913 Texas governor Oscar B. Colquitt secured permission to have her remains taken to Texas for interment in the State Cemetery in Austin. A bronze statue by Pompeo L. Coppini was erected there as a monument to her memory; her portrait hangs in the state Capitol.
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The Handbook of Texas Women project has its own dedicated website and resources.
George Pierce Garrison, "Another Texas Flag," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 3 (January 1900). Annie Doom Pickrell, Pioneer Women in Texas (Austin: Steck, 1929). Henry David Pope, A Lady and a Lone Star Flag: The Story of Joanna Troutman (San Antonio: Naylor, 1936). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 19, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
July 1, 1995
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