Sunday, March 6, 2011

TEXAS FOREVER!!

This is a headline that appeared on a flyer in New Orleans in 1836, offering free land in Texas, before news of the fall of the Alamo was known. Texians, as the founders of Texas called themselves, never considered defeat. From the beginning, they had big ideas.
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


6 comments:

  1. ANNA--this is great! You've hit the high spots, for sure--Texas Forever! It's interesting that Texas was multi-cultural from the beginning, and you pointed that out precisely.

    We lived in Oklahoma three years while my husband earned a graduate degree, and our son was in 2,3, and 4th grades there. Oklahoma celebrated Land Rush Days, and the kids were divided into "Okies" and "Sooners", or something like that. Anyway, he was an "Okie" and he was mad and he wasn't going to be one. This is a seven-year-old kid who wore cowboy boots to school.

    He came home and told me he wasn't going to be an Okie, nobody could make him, he was a Texan, and he wasn't going to take it anymore!
    I tried to make him see it was play-acting, but he was mad that whole week.
    Thanks for the great post. Since this entire week--well, the entire year--is Texas Independence time, I'll have more to say on Tuesday.
    Thanks again--Celia

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  2. Hooray for you, Anna! I'm pleased you chose this week, the anniversary of Texas declaration of independence from Mexico, to post this. And this is Texas' 175th anniversary, so this is a great time for this post. Of course, to Texans like me, anytime is a great time to celebrate the Lone Star state.

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  3. I am honored to be in the company of such loyal Texans. I am a Californian born and bred, but have had the chance to spend some time in Longview, Texas. It impressed me at how beautiful the state is since I was under the impression it was tumbleweed country. I love to see the pride in one's heritage and continue to enjoy learning from you all.

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  4. Awesome post! I'm fourth generation native Texan on the maternal side and let me tell you when this Texan leaves the state I take part of it with me. Texas may be a state of mind, but it's also in my heart and soul. I don't know if I could function if didn't live here. Ella

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  5. Thanks for the great post on Texas. We have enough history in this state to be a separate country. But I'm glad that Texas is part of the States. Some of my Texas ancestors came to Texas from Tenn. Funny thing to me, visited Gatlinburg, Tenn. recently and heard and watched Texans, whom I didn't know, having a wonderful time there. Made me feel right at home. :-)

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  6. Anna--we got a taste of the Texas Bigger 'n' Better mentality when we lived in both Dallas and Houston. We've lived a lot of places in the United States over the years and Texas left the biggest impression on us--that's for sure!

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