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Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park Dedication stirs pride
in State History

By Brad Meyer
Photos by
Brad Meyer
Friday
, April 22, 2011
Reprint from
The Courier

 

Texas pride was alive and well among the nearly 700 people that turned out in support of a new historical park honoring the spirit and determination of the men and women that fought for Lone Star Independence.
 

A spirited crowd braved unseasonably warm temperatures to be part of the dedication and unveiling ceremonies held Thursday for the Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park. Dignitaries from the world of politics, civic organizations, military service and the entertainment industry helped create an upbeat atmosphere of enthusiastic patriotism.
 

“This is a great honor for Conroe, Montgomery County and the state of Texas,” said Montgomery County Judge Alan B. Sadler. “This is an example of the good things when the city, the county and the private sector work together.”
 

The Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park features 13 of the flags that flew over Texas between 1821 and 1839 – the period leading to the state’s ultimate independence from Mexico. A bust of Dr. Charles B. Stewart, designer of the Lone Star flag, marks the entrance to the park and a 14-foot-tall statue, entitled “The Texian,” is mounted atop an elevated platform in the middle of the flag court.
 

Pat Spackey, right, reacts with pleasure as the
statue of her ancestor and designer of the
Long Star Flag, Charles B. Stewart, is unveiled.
 

The park is the brainchild of Conroe artist Craig Campobella. He conceived of the idea five years ago and has worked with local politicians, civic leaders, the private sector and countless volunteers to see his idea become a reality.
 

“This community is blessed to have someone like Craig,” said Conroe Mayor Webb Melder. “This is an amazing project that we can be proud of for years to come.”
 

Recording artist Marty Stuart said he has become a big fan of Conroe. He met Campobella when in town for a concert at the Crighton Theatre last year and has been back several times since.
 

“I’m impressed by the people and spirit of this community,” he said. “I admire what you are doing here.”
 

The opening celebration was specifically planned for Thursday, the 175th anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto – an event many historians say is among the most important military victory in history. Organizers invited a wide range of guests to be part of the dedication ceremonies, including Sam Houston IV, the great-grandson of the legendary commander that defeated the Mexican army.
 

“We were at San Jacinto this morning re-enacting the battle as we do every year,” said Houston in remarks to the crowd. “Don’t worry – we won again.”
 

Many attendees arrived early to make sure they had a front row seat for the festivities. Among them were Darrell Laurence of Pflugerville and Tommy Shelton of Montgomery – both direct descendents of Austin’s Old 300, early pioneers that accompanied Stephen F. Austin to settle in Texas around 1822.
 

“We have a lot of pride in our state and our family history,” said Shelton. “We came to be part of this tribute to the state’s history.”
 

Dee Robak of Conroe, a native Texan, took off early from work to be part of the celebration as well.
 

“I want to show my support for the park,” she said. “I wouldn’t miss this for the world.”
 

In welcoming remarks, Sadler likened the new park to the Washington Monument in the nation’s capitol.
 

“The way this park was created, it’s never going to make a dime,” he said. “And still it’s going to be a very important and symbolic part of our home community. Not everything is about money.”
 

The 13 historical flags were escorted to the park in individual processions, followed by the unveiling of the Charles B. Stewart bust by his direct descendent Pat Spackey.
 

Prior to the flag installation, the individual designated to raise the flag provided a brief introduction and history of the flag. As each flag reached the top of the 35-foot flagpoles it was saluted by “Rolling Thunder,” a six-pound canon and musket volley fired by historically clad re-enactors.
 

The final event of the dedication ceremony was the unveiling of “The Texian” statue by Campobella, who designed and created both statues. There was a momentary hitch when the black fabric hung up on the statue, but officials were prepared for every eventuality and quickly cleared the cover from the statue.
 


 

Asked about his feelings regarding the ceremony and the dedication of the Lone Star Monument and Flag Park, Campobella said simply that he was “overwhelmed.”
 


Artist Craig Campobella, who developed the concept for the Lone Star Monument and Flag Park, takes a moment to reflect on the opening ceremony Thursday evening.
 

But Campobella’s work may not be done. Sadler and Melder said they are very impressed by what the artist has been able to accomplish in terms of rallying the support of the city, the county and the private sector. They suggested there may be other opportunities in the community that could be developed in conjunction with the park.
 

“I would encourage Craig to keep pushing,” said Sadler. “He’s started something very impressive here.”
 

For more information on the park, visit www.texasflagpark.org.
 

The Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park, located adjacent to the Central Library located at 104 I-45 North, in Conroe, was dedicated Thursday on the 175th anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto. For more information on the park and the flags, and the people, visit www.texasflagpark.org.

 

| Home | Top of Page |Texas Flag Park |
|
"A Six Year Journey, True Community Effort"|
| Unveiling C B Stewart Bust |

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