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September 23, 2022

Pensacola is the westernmost city in the panhandle of Florida and part of the central time zone. In addition to the pristine beaches of the Gulf Shore, the region has several parks enjoyed year-round by its nearly half a million Pensacola metropolitan residents. The area is the home of Naval Air Station Pensacola, which supports the local economy. The Air Station is also the home base of the Blue Angels, a Naval flight demonstration squadron who have delighted fans at air shows for decades.


The Spanish explorers Pánfilo de Narváez and Hernando de Soto anchored in Pensacola Bay. De Narváez in 1529 and de Soto in 1539. Pensacola has the nickname "City of Five Flags," reflecting the region's long and sometimes tumultuous European and American settlements. These five flags are:

  • Castile (Spain)
  • France
  • Great Britain
  • United States of America
  • Confederate States of America

The first settlers were the Spanish, who established a settlement in 1559, but it was destroyed by storms. By the time the Spanish built a Presidio in 1698, the waters of Pensacola Bay and the Gulf Coast were busy with sailing ships from around the world. However, the Spanish proclaimed the region too dangerous for settlement for more than a century. When the French settled west of Pensacola, Colonial American History and American History/Confederate American History represented the region.

Bottle Creek

Ironically, one of the region's most popular tourist attractions is Bottle Creek, an archeological site that predates European settlement for several centuries. The Bottle Creek site represents a vibrant and dynamic indigenous society called the Pensacola, with many different Muskogean nations interacting in trade and cultural exchange.


  1. Ashley Adams

    I’m sure your intentions with this article are fine, but this is terribly written Why is popularity of the indigenous settlement of Bottle Creek “ironic”? More important, why do you consider the Spanish settlement of Pensacola to be first when the indigenous settlement obviously predated it? Don’t indigenous settlements count? Your sentence about French settlement in the area is vague. Did their flag actually fly over Pensacola? If so, when? And I never learned anything about the British in the area. Why is their flag counted among the five?

  2. Dan McCune

    Settlement destroyed in 1559…hummm, must have been climate change.


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