You probably learned about the Texas State Bird and the Texas State Flag back in grade school, but just in case you’ve forgotten (or studied some other state or country), we’ve provided you with the following list of basics. Happy Texas Independence Day!
Texas State Flag
In 1836, at a convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos, Texas declared its independence from Mexico. Ten days later, conventioneers resolved that a single star with five points was to be the "peculiar emblem" of the Republic of Texas. It was also at this convention that the attendants allegedly adopted a flag that included a rainbow and a five-pointed star in front of a long horizon. However, an actual flag was never made from this design. The first official flag of the Republic of Texas is known as the David G. Burnet Flag and was adopted December 10, 1836. The Burnet flag features a large golden star on a blue background. But it wasn’t until January 25, 1839, that the state’s current flag, the Lone Star Flag, was approved by then-Texas president Mirabeau B. Lamar and subsequently mass-produced. The Lone Star Flag displays a white five-pointed star on a blue perpendicular field. Next to this are two horizontal fields of white (on top) and red (below). The blue field behind the star (representing the Republic) stands for loyalty, the white for purity, and the red for bravery (incidentally, the red, the white, and the blue in the United States flag represent the same virtues). The designer of the Lone Star Flag is unknown.
Adopted by the 43rd Legislature, the pledge to the Texas flag had to be changed by the 59th Legislature in 1965 because the original pledge contained the phrase "flag of 1836," which was the David G. Burnet Flag and not the Texas Lone Star Flag that had been adopted in 1839.
The Texas State Flag Code, which was adopted in 1933 and revised in 1993, outlines the proper and improper uses for the Texas Lone Star Flag.
Texas State Seal
The Great Seal of the Republic of Texas was proposed by ad interim president David Burnet and subsequently adopted by Congress and by Sam Houston (who replaced Burnet as president) on December 10, 1836. This design, which was modified in 1839 by the third Congress, added an oak branch and an olive branch, representing strength and peace respectively. The only other major change was made in 1845, when Texas became a state of the Union and the word "Republic" was changed to "State."
Texas State Tree
In 1890 Democrat James Hogg easily won the race for governor of Texas after two terms as the state’s attorney general. A popular advocate of the common citizen, Hogg adored the pecan tree so much that he had one placed at his grave site in Houston upon his death, in 1906. This sentiment probably led to the adoption of the pecan tree as the state tree of Texas in 1919.
Texas State Flower
Upon the request of the Society of Colonial Dames in Texas, the 27th Legislature deemed the bluebonnet the state flower of Texas in 1901. This flower, otherwise known as the Buffalo Clover, the Wolf Flower, or el conejo ("the rabbit"), presumably got its name because of its color and its resemblance to a women’s bonnet. Bluebonnets bloom in early spring and can be found throughout Texas, and since 1971, the state has recognized all species of bluebonnets as the state flower and not solely the original Lupinus subcarnosus species.
Texas State Bird
The mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) or "Mocker" was adopted by the 40th Legislature in 1927 upon the urging of the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs. The mockingbird’s call is a blend of other birds’ songs. Each bird knows as many as 25 to 30 different songs and uses those in quick succession to weave its own distinctive song. But don’t let the beauty of song deceive you, this ten-inch long tweeter is not to be messed with: It has been known to attack when its territory is infringed upon, swooping down on such intruders as cats, dogs, and humans.
Texas State Song
The state song of Texas is a winnerhonestly. In 1929 the state legislature held a contest to find the song that best glorified Texas. Fort Worth residents William J. Marsh and Gladys Yoakum Wright won with "Texas, Our Texas." There has been only one change to the words: Shortly after Alaska became a state in January 1959, Marsh changed the word "largest" in line three to "boldest."
Texas State Motto
"Texas" comes from the Spanish pronunciation of "tejas," a Caddo Indian word for "friends." The motto "Friendship" was adopted in 1930 by the 41st Legislature.
The Six Flags of Texas
The Six Flags of Texas are flags from each of the six different bodies of power that governed Texas at different points in time. These flags represent the Kingdom of France, the Kingdom of Spain, the Mexican Federal Republic, the Lone Star Flag of the Republic of Texas, the flag of the Confederate States of America, and the flag of the United States of America.