By Julia Ridgmont
I just arrived home from a 16-hour drive into the great American state of Texas. It had been over 25 years since I had visited that state, and I wanted to show my kids some of the wonderful things that Texas has to offer, including beaches with warm water and fewer people than the beaches of our neighboring state, California. Warm beaches aside (at which they had a glorious time), my children learned a lot about Texas’ history during this trip. One thing that stood out to me as we drove and drove (and drove some more) were the many, many flags along the sides of the highways and freeway, both the American flag and the Texan flag. Too late, I realized I should have been counting the number I saw. I’ve taken several road trips with my family (with several U.S. states yet to visit—hopefully someday) and I have not seen this kind of pride and devotion displayed anywhere else, including my home state of Arizona.
Why are Texans so proud of their flag?
While I don’t know the exact answer to that question since I’ve never actually asked a Texan, I have a few theories.
Texas, as most people know, was an independent country after it revolted from Mexico in 1836. The Battle of the Alamo, though a defeat for the Texians, gave them the time they needed to gather reinforcements and fight President General Antonio López de Santa Anna a month and a half later. At the time, Texians were flying the Mexican flag—only, instead of the eagle shown in the middle, the year 1824 was sewn into it to remind Mexican leaders of the constitution they had drafted that year and the promises they had made, which they were no longer upholding.
Independence from Mexico presented new conflicts for the young republic, including skirmishes and raids from the Comanche Indian tribe and conflicting views regarding annexation into the United States of America from political leaders. From December 1836 to January 1839, Texas represented itself with a flag bearing a gold star over a blue background, known now as the Burnet flag. In 1839, a new flag was flown, bearing a white single or “lone star” over a blue background and one white bar running horizontally over one red bar. This flag served as the Republic of Texas’ ensign to other nations until annexation came at the end of 1845. It still serves as Texas’ official state flag, and because it has served as the official flag for both a country and a state (and is the only state flag of all 50 states to have done so), it is flown at the same height as the United States’ flag.
Yes, Texans have much to be proud about as their history is full of inspiring events and people. However, I would love to see more flags flown in other U.S. states as well as other nations. Show us what you’re proud of, your accomplishments as a society and a people. I’m not talking about the kind of pride that is boastful, but one that exudes confidence in oneself and a desire to stand boldly and represent your state or country nobly. What an honor it was to visit Texas and be reminded of the old adage, if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. Let's all stand up and be counted!
To learn more about Texas' fight for independence, visit:
History of the Texas State Flag, the Lone Star State flag and the Republic of Texas History (fortworthflag.com)
To learn more about Julia Ridgmont and her books, visit her Amazon page: https://amzn.to/2GKnBUA
As a Texan married to a Texan and the mother of two Texans, I loved this post. We are proud of our state flag as well as the USA flag. Thanks for the spotlight. I'm glad you had a lovely trip.ReplyDelete
As another native Texas, I am glad you liked Texas. The traveler's lament goes "The sun done rose, the sun done set, and I'm in Texas yet." It is a big place.ReplyDelete