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What Did Santa Anna’s ‘No Quarter’ Flag Look Like?

10/9/2014 • Ask Mr. History

What did Santa Anna’s flag of “no quarter” look like?

—FM

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Dear FM,

All descriptions agree that a simple blood-red flag was flown from the San Fernando Church on February 23, 1836, to indicate Generalissimo Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna’s determination that no combatant in the Alamo would be shown quarter; some accounts also claim that as the flag was raised the Mexicans played the El Degüello dirge as well, but there remains some debate over whether that happened. Colonel William Travis responded with an ineffective shot from his 18-pounder cannon. In the end, Santa Anna saw to it that his order was carried out.

Sincerely,

 

Jon Guttman
Research Director
World History Group
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