Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Texas Tidbits : The Six Flags of Texas

The Lone Star flag of Texas is instantly recognized by people all over the world as the defining symbol of our state. However, the same people probably don't know that the flags of six sovereign nations have flown over Texas, dating back to the 1500's. I would imagine that that is true for the vast majority of non-Texans. If you were to mention "six flags" and "Texas" in the same breath, non-Texans would say something like: "I've been there and I rode the roller coaster eight times!", thinking of the amusement park, Six Flags Over Texas, not the history of the state. Even if ignorant of our history, non-Texans (or "foreginers" a I call them :D) know the state flag. Here's a quick primer for our non-Texan friends. Study up and soon you can impress even Native Texans with your knowledge of the rich history of Texas.                                                                                                                                                                                     Spain was the first European country to claim Texas as their own, way back in 1519 by Hernando Cortez. The Spanish flag flew over Texas until 1685 when the land was claimed by the French. The French had control of Texas for only five years, when in 1690, the Spanish took over Texas again, this time until 1821 when Mexico declared independence from Spain.

From 1685 to 1690, the nation of France took over Texas from the Spaniards. But, the French ruled over Texas for only five years, then, as what has come to be expected of the Frogs, they tucked tail and ran, allowing Spain to once again call Texas theirs.

The Spanish rule of Texas this go 'round lasted until 1821 when Mexico declared its independence from the Mother Country, and Texas became a state of Mexico. The citizens of Texas didn't cotton to the iron-fisted rule of Santa Ana and on March 2, 1836, told him to shove it up his sombrero.

From 1836 to 1845, Texas was an independent nation and in 1839 the Lone Star Flag as we know it, became the official flag of the Republic of Texas. Texas gained statehood on December 29, 1845 and became a part of the United States.

With the advent of the Civil War in 1861, Texas seceded from the Union and was a member of the Confederate States of America for four years. After the War of Northern Aggression ended in 1865, Texas was eventually re-admitted to the United States.

And the rest , as they say, is history.

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All Original Material © Toby Shoemaker