The Alamo will not fall under United Nations control if it is named a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Texas Land commission assured Texans on Wednesday, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
In a statement Wednesday Jerry Patterson, the Texas land commissioner, called rumors that the U.N. might manage the Alamo and other Spanish missions in Texas “horse hockey.”
“The people of Texas own the Alamo now and in the future. Nothing is going to change that,” Patterson said at a gun rights rally at the Alamo on Oct. 19.
George Rodriguez, former president of the San Antonio Tea Party, stirred up rumors in a piece titled ‘The New Battle of the Alamo.’
Rodriguez said Wednesday that he never stated that the U.N. would take control, but that he merely provided a “cautionary tale.”
“I’m just constantly saying ‘may’ or ‘might,’” he explained. “I’m never once saying that this is going to happen. We need to be aware.”
The two times I visited the Alamo went as follows.
1. I was driving to Houston. Stopped in San Antonio to check it out. Was after closing so I didn’t do the tour. But didn’t much care about that. I go up to the Alamo doors itself and there are all these irritated white people milling around. Some Latino guys totally decked out in Spurs gear head to foot are getting their pictures taken in front of the Alamo and the white people are wondering what they are doing and why they are taking so long. Turns out that someone’s mom and girlfriend or something was taking pictures of them flashing their gang signs in front of the Alamo and they wanted lots of pictures of doing this. Reconquista indeed. Of course none of the white people could figure out what they were doing. Then I turn around and walk toward the shops across the street. A bus comes past from a visiting Texas high school. The name emblazoned on the bus: “Hereford Whitefaces.” The nickname of the high school was indeed the Whitefaces. I understand this is partially related to the look of that particular brand of cattle. But in Texas, it’s not just that. Oh no. I walked away thinking this is the weirdest place I’ve ever been.
2. A few years later I was living in Texas. Was taking a historian friend around to various sites of public memory in central Texas. Went to the LBJ ranch, the monument commemorating all the Germans the Texas slaughtered for trying to flee to Mexico during the Civil War because they opposed slavery. Then went to the Alamo. There was some bizarre ceremony going on with some fraternal organization inducting new members or something. They had stands and everything. They introduced the six flags that have flown over the Alamo. No one cheered for the French flag (I’m unclear what right the French ever had over the region but whatever). There were a few claps for the Spanish. None for the Mexican flag. And then a whole lot for the Confederate flag. Only time I’ve ever seen the Confederate flag cheered for. Then we turn around to walk away and there’s a whole group of African-American Revolutionary War reenactors walking toward us. Huh? What the heck?
In any case, I don’t mind if the UN comes and conquers Texas or internationalizes the Alamo or whatever, so long as it remains the weirdest place in the United States.