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Thomas Fallon

Artist: Robert Glen (1989)

This statue of Captain Thomas Fallon was commissioned in 1988. It memorializes the raising of the U.S. flag in San Jose in 1846, when California was still a part of Mexico. Scheduled to be installed in 1990, the statue generated an intense controversy. Supporters of the artwork believed that it commemorated an important historical event in San Jose's history. Opponents of the statue responded that it represented a troubling moment in American history, when the United States used the Mexican -American War as a reason to annex California from Mexico.

To address the issues arising from the controversy, the City appointed a Historic Art Advisory Committee. The committee recommended that the City's public art must represent all perspectives of the City's history. Four additional projects were recommended - artworks commemorating the Ohlone Way of Life, the life of Dr. Ernesto Galarza, the Founding of the Pueblo, and the Agricultural History of the Valley. These works have been installed in various locations around the city.

This artwork is a reminder that a community's historic events can be interpreted in many ways, depending upon one's perspective.

District: 3

Report a Concern: (408) 793-04330 or


  • (Public Art) Historic Commemorations & Memorials
  • (Public Art) Permanent Artworks

Public Art - Thomas Fallon Statue - 1

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