Home of the Six Flags

The year of 2024 is when Victoria let's the world know that we are the "Home of Six Flags!" But qualifies Victoria for this impressive distinction? If you've taken a Texas history class, you'll know that the Six Flags of Texas include Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America, and the United States of America.

However, only Victoria County can claim that within its borders lies the remains of the only settlement of one of these countries. Know which one it is? If you've done your homework, then you'll know that the French flag flew only in Victoria County! In 1684, French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle departed France with 4 ships and 300 colonists to establish a colony on the mouth of the Mississippi River. Misfortune soon struck the expedition, and only one ship made it to land on the Texas coast in early 1685, far from their desired destination. On Garcitas Creek in present-day Victoria County, a small settlement was established that faced even more difficulties. Disease, starvation, and poor relations with the Native Americans meant the colony only lasted until 1688. La Salle himself was mutinied and killed by his own men while on an expedition for assistance in 1867.

While the French colony was short-lived, it's impact cannot be understated. The incursion of French settlers prompted the Spanish government to take more seriously its claim to Texas, and several missions and presidios were established, including the first Mission Espiritu Santo and Presidio La Bahia that was erected on the ruins of the French settlement and would eventually relocate to Goliad, Texas, where it currently stands. Texas today may look very different without the influence of La Salle and the French settlement in Victoria County. Victoria, Texas is truly the "Home of the Six Flags!"

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