In early January 1831, Green DeWitt wrote to Ramón Músquiz, the top political official of Bexar, and requested armament for the defense of the colony of Gonzales. This request was granted by the delivery of a small used cannon. The small bronze cannon was received by the colony and signed for on March 10, 1831, by James Tumlinson, Jr. The swivel cannon was mounted to a blockhouse in Gonzales and later was the object of Texas pride.
At the minor skirmish known as the Battle of Gonzales—the first land battle of the Texas Revolution against Mexico—a small group of Texans successfully resisted the Mexican forces who had orders from Colonel Domingo de Ugartechea to seize their cannon.
As a symbol of defiance, the Texans had fashioned a flag containing the phrase "come and take it" (Spanish: Ven y tómalo) along with a black star and an image of the cannon that they had received four years earlier from Mexican officials. This was the same message that was sent to the Mexican government when they told the Texans to return the cannon; lack of compliance with the initial demands led to the failed attempt by the Mexican military to forcefully take back the cannon.
Replicas of the original flag can be seen in the Texas State Capitol, the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, the Sam Houston State University CJ Center, the University of Texas at El Paso Library, the Marine Military Academy headquarters building, the Hockaday School Hoblitzelle Auditorium, and in Perkins Library at Duke University.