So why “Texas Forever!!” and what is Texas?”
Texas is a state of mind, rooted in mystique and mythology. It began when Stephen F. Austin brought 400 pioneers to Texas at the beginning of the 19th century. It was perpetuated on March 2nd of 1836, at Washington-on-the-Brazos, the day Texians and Tejanos declared independence from Mexico.
From that day forward, Texians and Tejanos (Mexicans who declared their loyalty to Texas) developed their own culture that is distinctly “Texas.” The evolving ranching culture produced its own clothing, music, customs and food distinctive to the Lone Star State. Much of it is found nowhere else on planet Earth—Tex-Mex food is not Mexican, not American, but Texan. Tejano music is not Mexican, not American, but Texan. Texas has its own Tex-Mex language, a mixture of English and Spanish, that is spoken nowhere but Texas.
No doubt this kind of loyalty wouldn’t exist if Texians had never fought and died for independence, won victory and established itself as a republic with its own government. For ten years, Texas, as its own nation, flew its own flag and traded and negotiated with foreign countries on its own. Many of the original Texians liked it that way. They opposed becoming a part of the United States and remained loyal to the Lone Star to their dying days. Their credo was “Texan first, American second.”
Texas is the only state to enter the United States by treaty instead of annexation. It’s the only state allowed to fly its flag at the same height as the U.S. flag. The state capitol dome in Austin is taller than the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. by 7 feet.
So what is the place of Texans these days? A well-known author said, “A Texan outside of Texas is like a foreigner.” I know what he meant by that. I’ve felt like a foreigner before when outside the company of fellow Texians. And when I hear derision of Texas and Texans, it makes me what to shout, TEXAS FOREVER!!
Anna Jeffrey - www.annajeffrey.com