Texas State Flag: History, Design, Trivia
DATE FIRST USED
Texas State Flag
The Lone Star Flag
A white horizontal stripe above a red horizontal stripe of equal width. A blue vertical stripe at the hoist with a width one-third the flag's length; this stripe contains one five-pointed white star in its center.
Symbols: A white five-pointed star. Originally a symbol of solidarity against Mexican rule, the star is now seen to represent the state's independent spirit. Officially, it represents Texan unity "For God, State, and Country."
Colors: Red, white, and blue. These are the same colors as on the national flag; they show Texas' links to the U.S. Individually they represent bravery, purity, and loyalty. Red is defined as PMS 193 and blue as 281.
A number of national flags and many revolutionary flags flew in the area that became Texas before there was any unique, official Texan flag. The original Republic of Texas flag that flew upon independence from Mexico was azure with a large gold star in the middle. It was derived from the Republic of West Florida independence flag, the Bonnie Blue, which was dark blue with a white star. Variants on this flag, with a white star and with the word "Texas" wrapped around the star, also flew at times.
Senator William Harris Wharton introduced the better-known Lone Star Flag to the Republic of Texas Congress in late 1938. It's possible that Wharton, a veteran of the Texas fight for independence and Texan minister to the U.S., may have designed the flag himself. It was adopted as Texas' national flag in early 1839 and has flown in Texas ever since.
In 1845, when Texas became the 28th state to join the U.S.A., the Texas national flag simply became the Texas state flag. In 1879, all laws not specifically renewed were repealed, and the flag law was not renewed. The Texas flag continued to fly, though it no longer had any official status. This continued until 1933, when a new flag code made the flag official again.
The Texas flag flies daily at all state institutions. Generally, it should be hoisted at sunrise and lowered at sunset, though the flag can fly all night if properly lit. It is especially encouraged that the flag fly on state and national holidays and on any historically important day. Generally the flag flies only during good weather, though all-weather flags can fly in the rain.
The Texas flag and the U.S. flag are to be honored in the same way and treated with the same care, though the national flag takes precedence and is hoisted first and lowered last. If both are on the same flagpole, the national flag should be above. When they flay on separate flagpoles, the two flags and poles should be as similar in size as possible. The U.S. flag should fly to the right of the state flag, and the Texas flag should not be hoisted higher than the American flag. When the Texas flag flies with municipal or other flags, the state flag should take the place of honor.
The state recommends that its flag be handled with care, not deliberately marked or damaged, and stored so that it does not get damaged. It should hang or fly well clear of the ground, floor, or anything below the flag. Flags that become too dirty or tattered to fly should be replaced and disposed of in a ceremonious way, usually by burning.
LEGENDS, CONTROVERSIES, AND TRIVIA
William Harris Wharton did not live to see his Lone Star Flag fly for long. It was adopted on January 25, 1839. Wharton accidentally shot and killed himself while getting off his horse on March 14, 1839, just over a month later. He was 36 years old.
The Texas flag was rated second best in North America in the 2001 North American Vexillological Survey.
-World Trade Press