Charles Zanco, defender of the Alamo, son of Frederick Zanco, was born at Randers, Denmark, in 1808. Zanco and his father emigrated to America in 1834 after the death of Charles’s mother. They settled in Harris County, Texas. The Zancos were farmers, and Charles was also a painter by trade. In the fall of 1835 Zanco joined the first volunteers at Lynchburg for service in the Texas Revolution. He helped design the company’s flag, which featured a painted star and the controversial legend, “Independence.” Zanco may have been the first person ever to paint a Lone Star on a Texan flag. He took part in the siege of Bexar as a member of the Texan artillery. He remained in Bexar as part of the garrison under Lt. Col. James C. Neill. He was promoted to lieutenant and served as an assistant to the garrison’s ordnance chief. Zanco entered the Alamo on February 23, 1836, at the approach of the Mexican Army. He died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.
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