History

The Battle of Flowers Association:

History Photo.jpgThe Battle of Flowers Association originated as the Battle of Flowers Parade committee. In 1914 a constitution was adopted, a charter and seal were granted, and the name officially became The Battle of Flowers Association of San Antonio, with active membership limited to 400. Its purpose was designed to teach the history of our state and to keep alive the patriotic traditions of Texas and San Antonio. In 1992 The Battle of Flowers® was registered as our exclusive trademark and service mark.

The Battle of Flowers Parade:

The idea for the first Battle of Flowers Parade was conceived early in 1891 by Ellen Maury Slayden (Mrs. James L.), the wife of a congressman, who had seen a similar parade in Spain. She suggested to her friends that a flower parade should be held in San Antonio each year on April 21 in memory of the fallen heroes at the Alamo and to commemorate the victory at the Battle of San Jacinto, April 21, 1836, where Texas had gained its independence from Mexico. These ladies formed the Battle of Flowers Parade committee, enlisted the support of fellow community leaders and the planning began. The first parade had an actual "flower battle" with half of the fresh-flower-covered carriages, floats and bicycles going in one direction and the other half going in the opposite direction, tossing fresh flowers at each other as they passed.

History Photo.jpg

By 1895 the parade had developed into a weeklong celebration. The first Queen was chosen in 1896, Miss Ida Archer of Austin, and a King was chosen in 1897. In 1900, Miss Lola Kokernot was crowned Queen with a princess, duchesses and other attendants, and was the first Queen to have royal robes with a court. Parade royalty however, was "hit or miss" until several years later in 1909 when the Order of the Alamo selected a Queen, Princess and several Duchesses from San Antonio and other communities.

In 1901 the parade included its first horseless vehicle. By 1915-16 the parade had grown so much in scope that the floats could no longer be decorated with fresh flowers and artificial flowers were used. In 1973 the tradition of association members wearing yellow hats on parade day began and in 1976 association members started wearing yellow dresses. In 1991 to celebrate the parade's centennial anniversary, former association presidents arrived in carriages and tossed flowers at each other and spectators as was done in the first parade. Today it includes some 40 flower-covered floats, dozens of military, college and high school bands, cavalcades, horse-drawn carriages, antique cars and giant helium balloons. The Battle of Flowers Parade has been held every year since its beginning except during war times. In 1979, the parade did not take place on the advice of the police because of a tragic incident that occurred 30 minutes before it was to begin.

The Battle of Flowers Association is proud of its long history and proud to be the founding event of the 10 day celebration we now call Fiesta® San Antonio.