Bonnie Blue flag rallies across Florida
For the 205th Anniversary of the Bonnie Blue flag the Florida League of the South held two rallies. One in Lake City saw five League members gather to fly the flag. Over thirty Free Magnolias and other literature were distributed to local townspeople. The demonstration was well received.
In Lake Wales two demonstrations were held during the course of Saturday afternoon. Six League members gathered holding Bonnie Blue flags and ‘Feds Out of Florida signs. About twenty Free Magnolias and other literature were distributed. One driver stopped and chatted with the protesters, he seemed very interested in the League of the South & its opinion of the Federal government. Once again the demonstrations were well received.
Below is some history of the Bonnie Blue flag and pics from the rallies:
In the early 1800’s West Florida was inhabited be settlers of Scots-Irish and English decent whom the region’s Spanish commandant described as “inclined to insubordination and prone to insurgency.” Many of them had been loyalist Tories that fled the American Revolution and sought refuge in the region when it was a British territory.
In 1804 a revolt against Spanish rule of West Florida was led by the Kemper brothers. The Kemper Rebellion was crushed by the Spanish but the English speaking people of the region continued to push for some degree of traditional English liberties under their Spanish rulers. In June of 1810 several meetings, both secret and public were held with the object of calling governor Don Carlos Duhalt de Lassus to hold a convention. While pretending to agree to a convention and hear the grievances of his Anglo-Celtic subjects, governor de Lassus secretly sent word to East Florida to send troops to help put down what he believed to be a threat to his authority.
Upon learning of this treachery the Anglo-Celtic patriot’s demands for a convention turned into cries of rebellion. The revolution began on 23 September 1810 when the rebels led by Philemon Thomas marched on the Spanish fort at Baton Rouge. As their symbol of independence they carried a rectangular blue flag with a single white star in its center representing the new Republic.
After a brief attack with five Spanish casualties and none to the rebels the Lone Star Flag was raised over Baton Rouge. Governor de Lassus was imprisoned and the President of the convention, John Rhea signed a Declaration of Independence on 26 September.