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History of the Texas flag

Most of us probably don’t have our state flags memorized, but it’s worth studying up: Our flag’s design reflects centuries of history.

The Texas flag

Adopted in 1839, our flag’s history is much older.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Table of Contents

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, a flag is a whole textbook.

Our state flag is a record of Texas history that experts read like a secret code. Every part carries some meaning, from hoist to fly end.

The colors

This one’s easy: the Texas flag shares its colors with the US flag, and their meanings are identical:

  • Red for courage
  • White for purity and liberty
  • Blue for loyalty

Fun fact: Some proposed Texas flags included green (for victory, borrowed from the Mexican flag) and gold.

The hoist

At the hoist end of the Texas flag — that is, the end near the flagstaff — a blue stripe bears the iconic Lone Star.

The current Lone Star flag was adopted in 1839, but the symbol represented Texan unity and independence decades before. The Jane Long Flag flown in 1819 may have been the star’s debut.

The field

Our flag’s field (or background) borrows its parallel stripes from the Republic of Fredonia, representing alliance between Anglo Texan settlers and local Cherokee leaders according to the Texas Historical Society.

Although the Fredonian Rebellion was unsuccessful, it set the stage for the Texas Revolution a decade later.