San Francisco City Hall, San Francisco, Texas discussed on Bay Curious
Our first question comes from a listener in San Francisco's South Beach neighborhood. I'm Kevin I was born and raised originally in Texas but I've lived on on the west coast since two thousand and two day. Kevin was walking around San Francisco checking out a display of historical flags outside City Hall. I noticed you all the other flags sort of made sense. Yeah Down with the shift. You had the flag of Mexico things like that. But then I saw Texas the Texas state flag flying outside San Francisco City Hall. The Texas flag is made out of three bars and start. There's one vertical bar on the left. That blue with a white five pointed pointed star in the center and then there are two horizontal bars and the rest of it White are above red wine here to answer why there's a Texas flag in front of City Hall is reporter Ana Decline Hanukah. I love you so first off. Walk me through what these flags outside City Hall even are okay. So if you walk up to City Hall in San Francisco you'll walk through two rows of nine flags each they all represent these different points in American history. It's kind of like walking through a time line of these important moments like you have betsy. Betsy Ross's thirteen stars in a circle that original American flag. Or you've got the classic. Don't tread on me flag with rattlesnake which would become the navy's first flag there's also a republic of California flag which kind of looks like our current state flag. But a little bit more of a I would say like a kid druick Shen rudimentary. Bear looks a little bit more like a pig to me just to me. You know maybe other people disagree But the state did upgrade so when California became a state and joined join the Union in eighteen fifty Later on the flag would change. Now we have the ferocious grizzly right but as our question Asker Kevin Notes. There's a Texas Texas flag Among these flags outside City Hall so why Texas that flag is technically the Republic of Texas flag so also in the mid eighteen hundreds the republic of Texas existed for about ten years. It was its own independent republic recognized by the United States. At the end of that run it became the twenty eighth state but that flag stayed the same. So it's kind of hard to differentiate between the Republic of Texas flag and the State of Texas flag but I'm told by our city's parks and Rec Department that it's the Republic of Texas flag. It just looks exactly the same basic. Aren't you access flick. Okay cool so. The inclusion of you know flags like like the Republic of California and the Republic of Texas. They were kind of odd choices at the time But the people who curated flags for inclusion in the eighteen flags felt they represented important if not sometimes tumultuous points in our country's history flags you know certainly throughout history. There's many examples of when they've been pretty controversial. Are there any other other interesting examples of ones that have been outside our city hall well since you mentioned it. The confederate flag actually flew for a short time outside of San Francisco City Hall. Oh but it was removed shortly after it went up because people protested it was originally part of those eighteen flags that went up in nineteen sixty four and then civil rights groups and others said hey you know we don't want that representing our city. Wow well there's a story that you will not find that Civic Center Plaza these days but you can find details about all the rest of the flags on these little plaque set center at the bottom of each flagpoles can check that out If you can't make it out to Civic Center Plaza you can also head online to bake curious dot org where we will have information about all the eighteen flags that are out there in front of City Hall all right. Well thanks for finding the answer and you're welcome. Our next question comes from a listener. Who didn't want to be recorded? But I can tell you. She's a big history buff during the early days of European settlement in the bay area public. Life centered around the town square. But these days there are dozens and dozens of square scattered all around in San Francisco. Our listener wants to know which was the first public square in the city. And what happened. There we sent reporter Mari Soul Medina Katina to hunt down the answer today. I'm at Portsmouth. Square in the heart of San Francisco's Chinatown around here are a lot of GRANDMAS and grandpas playing playing cards. I've heard this is the city's first square which makes sense because it's in the center of everything and the TRANSAMERICA building funding. If literally right across from the park there are some rich. History here at Portsmouth Square but is this the first square for San Francisco to find out. I met historian Christopher pollock before this became the city of San Francisco known as your but Plano and It was occupied first by Spanish and then later by Mexicans pollock told me the plaza was the center of government affairs for the Spanish and Mexican settlers. flers so Portsmouth Square is the first square. It was around before San Francisco became San Francisco and before it even had the name Portsmouth Square. The name would come when the Americans arrived during the Mexican American war that broke out in eighteen. Forty six. It's the two year war that resulted in the US. Acquiring half of Mexico's territory to fulfill. What many Americans believed was there manifest destiny any captain John? Montgomery lands near Portsmouth Square and symbolically raised a flag to signal that the Swiss American Occupation Montgomery went on to rename the square after his ship. The US Portsmouth.