For a brief period of time, between April & August 1812 the citizens of parishes currently east of the Mississippi River – including St. Tammany and Baton Rouge – were free and independent territories called the Florida Parishes.
The citizens of St. Tammany, all 1800 of them had petitioned(1) the Congress to be included in the Mississippi territory because they did not desire to be part of Louisiana and the reign of Governor Claiborne. Their request was denied when Congress accepted Louisiana as a state and conditionally would accept St. Tammany IF the state’s legislature agreed and we know how that story ended. Still, on Independence day, St Tammany citizens can comfort themselves in the knowledge that on 4 July, 201 years ago they were not part of the Jacobin empire that the United States has become and can proudly fly the true flag of Independence, the “Bonnie Blue Star”.
That brings me to another observation, the first flag flown over Louisiana’s first Constitutional Convention site, the Tremoulee House in January 1812, was an unofficial flag depicting “a pelican in her piety”(2). Louisianans lived without an official flag until the convention to secede from the union was held in January 1861, there we find a white flag with a red star in the center containing the familiar pelican feeding her young; this gave way to the Flag of the Louisiana Republic featuring red, white and blue stripes with a gold star planted on a red field. Louisiana then adopted a version of the current Pelican flag on a blue field after she seceded. This was not made official until May 2006 when the flag, complete with 3 drops of blood on the Pelican’s chest(3) was made official.
As more scales are shed from the eyes of an apathetic public only recently discovering the Soviet like tyranny we happily live under, Louisianans would do well to re-learn or learn their history including their flag, it may become important to them again, very soon, ye old, Bonnie Blue.