Recently, alarms sounded when Infowars reported that the United Nations was going to take over the Alamo. Infowars also stated that the UN Flag could fly over the Alamo once it fell under UN control. We decided to investigate this, since the Alamo is the most historically significant symbol in Texas.
We discovered Missions of San Antonio as the primary advocate of this movement. According to the Missions of San Antonio Facebook page, their email contact is a National Park Service email address, email@example.com. We called Missions of San Antonio and they did confirm that they are, in fact, staffed by federal employees and are seeking “World Heritage Site” status for the Alamo. One official stated, “we are working on document to make all five missions classified as one World Heritage site”.
The stated purpose, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), of the World Heritage status for any property, is national and international protection of the cultural and natural heritage. According to the treaty, which was ratified by the United States, each member nation must have a tentative list of culturally or historically important sites to nominate for the “World Heritage Site”, status. The San Antonio Franciscan Missions, which includes The Alamo, is on the tentative list submitted by the United States.
One eyebrow raiser is that the Texas General Land Office, (GLO) who has jurisdiction over the Alamo, and the Daughters of the Texas Republic, are both listed by Missions of San Antonio as fellow members of the steering committee seeking heritage status for the Alamo.
We called the General Land Office, and a spokesperson confirmed that that the GLO is on the steering committee. We were told by a spokesperson that they are in the third year of the applicaton process. It was recently submitted by President Obama to UNESCO for nomination could take up to 1-2 years for approval. Another spokesperson at the GLO stated that, “having heritage status will not change the ownership of the Alamo” and “Texas owns the Alamo and it will always own the Alamo”. When asked, The Daughters of the Republic of Texas had no comment.
Despite all the controversy, General Land Commissioner Patterson did tout a positive outcome of obtaining World Heritage status, “ I am absolutely satisfied that a World Heritage Nomination will have no affect on the Alamo other than a possible increase in foreign tourists.”
While The Alamo my never be owned or managed by the U.N., World Heritage Site status would open the door for UN and international assistance. Chapter 2, Article 6 and Chapter 5 of the treaty allows members to apply for international loans, grants, training and educational tools from the World Heritage Committee and UNESCO staff. Further, sites with World Heritage status are given guidelines for proper display of plaques and UNESCO/World Heritage emblems.
“Properties inscribed on the World Heritage List should be marked with the emblem jointly with the UNESCO logo, which should, however, be placed in such a way that they do not visually impair the property in question. Furthermore, the national authorities should encourage World Heritage properties to make a broad use of the Emblem such as on their letterheads, brochures and staff uniforms.”
In the end none of this may happen. The treaty requires its members to pay dues, and as usual, the Federal government owes back pay.