More Baton Rouge History

Welcome from the Mayor-President: Melvin "Kip" Holden

I assumed office as Mayor-President on January 1, 2005 with a goal to build an administration that will be a
green light for solutions to traffic, safe neighborhoods, a quality education system and open government.

Through the increased use of technology and better management of our resources,
I believe Louisiana’s Capital is poised to become America’s next great city.

Baton Rouge is the home of two great universities, a world-class biomedical research facility and a downtown that is coming alive
with the opening of two museums, as well as, new and creative residential and office developments.

If you are a citizen of East Baton Rouge Parish, we hope our website provides you with the assistance you need
to access the information and services your local government provides.

If you are a visitor, we invite you to see Baton Rouge in person as a tourist or a company considering doing business here.
You will find the friendly people of Baton Rouge will welcome you warmly, and our government doors are always open to you.

Please let us hear from you on how we can serve you better.


Melvin “Kip” Holden
Mayor's Welcome Video
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The flag at the top of this page is the most recent flag to be added to the rich history of flags that have flown over
"The Capital City on the Mississippi"
as the old city flag told all who watched her lime green background, for growth, vitality and fertility of the land.
But times change and so do flags.
The new Baton Rouge City Flag is a field of crimson representing the great Indian Nations that once inhabited the area.
The flag also keeps symbols of the foreign flags that have flown in her balmy skies.

The Fleur d'Lis of France

The Castle of Spain

The Striped Union Jack of Great Britain.

The City was founded in 1721 and incorporated in 1817, information no longer included on the new flag.
Also omitted from the new flag is the Indian headdress and the cypress tree.

For a century and a half, "Louisiana" referred to a vast area that makes up several of our present-day states.
Here are some of the flags that have flown over Baton Rouge and Louisiana.
Exploration of a New World Spanish Flag
1519, the Spanish explorer Alonso Alverez de Pineda led an expedition along the northern shores of the Gulf of Mexico. He discovered the mouth of a great river-in all likelihood the mighty Mississippi.
The French Take Possession French Flag
The first explorer to travel down the Mississippi River to its mouth was Frenchman Sieur de LaSalle. In 1682, he took possession of "the country known as Louisiana," naming it in honor of his king, Louis XI V.

Spanish Possession Spanish Flag II
In a secret treaty in 1762, France ceded its territory west of the Mississippi to Spain. Colonist in Louisiana didn't learn of the transfer for almost two years!
Enter the British British Flag
In 1763, great Britain acquired parts of Louisiana east of the Mississippi from France and Spain in the Peace of Paris that ended the French and Indian War.

Return to the French French Flag II
The cost of maintaining distant colonies and worries about restless Americans who wanted to control the land led Spain to return the Louisiana territory west of the Mississippi to France in another secret treaty in 1800.
The Louisiana Purchase United States Flag
On April 30, 1803, the United States purchased the vast Louisiana territory from Napoleon for $15 million. That purchase more than doubled the size of the United States.

An Independent Territory Independent Flag
In 1810 colonists took control of the area east of the Mississippi River. It was part of Spain's West Florida Territory. That same year this republic joined the United States as part of the Louisiana Territory The area is still referred to as the Florida Parishes (Louisiana is divided into parishes instead of counties.) The flag is known as the "Bonnie Blue."
Louisiana Becomes a State First State Flag
On April 30, 1812, Louisiana became the 18th state to join the Union. William Charles Cole Claiborne was elected its first governor.

The Civil War Civil War Flag
The longest siege in American military history took place in 1863, when Confederate troops at Port Hudson held out for 48 days. Their surrender, five days after the fall of Vicksburg, marked the end of Confederate control of the Mississippi River.
Union, Justice and Confidence  Second State Flag
In 1912, the Louisiana State Legislature officially adopted the present state flag. It depicts the state bird, the Eastern Brown Pelican and the state motto: Union, Justice and Confidence.
Information on the flags of Louisiana provided by:
Louisiana Historical & Cultural Information
INFO Louisiana
Louisiana Office of Tourism Information

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