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The Texas State Flag

National Standard of Texas
National Standard of Texas adopted 1836

On December 10, 1836, President Sam Houston approved the first national flag of the Republic of Texas. This flag, known as the "National Standard of Texas" displayed a large golden five pointed star centered on an azure ground. This flag flew over the Republic of Texas until January 25, 1839.

A bill describing the "Lone Star Flag", a flag that would become the second official flag of the Republic of Texas, was introduced on December 28, 1838 by Senator William H. Wharton. The bill was, of course, referred to committee and this committee proposed a substitute bill including the same flag design proposed by Senator Wharton. This bill was passed by the Texas Congress on January 21, 1839 and approved by Texas President Mirabeau B. Lamar on January 25, 1839. This was almost six years before Texas became a member of the United States of America.

Early designs of the flag are attributed to many including Joanna Troutman, Sara Dodson, Charles Bellinger Stewart, Peter Krag and William Wharton, but it was long held that the actual designer of the Lone Star Flag was not known. The Texas House "may" have put an end to the mystery in 1997. House Resolution 1123, Commemorating Montgomery County as the birthplace of the Lone Star Flag, declares:

H.R. No. 1123

R E S O L U T I O N

Official artwork created for the Lone Star Flag approved by President Lamar was drawn by Peter Krag.

When Texas was admitted to the Union in 1845, the Lone Star Flag came along. And so it was until 1879 when the Sixteenth Legislature approved the "Revised Civil Statues of 1879." These revised statutes provided that "all civil statutes of a general nature, in force when the Revised Statutes take effect, and which are not included herein, or which are not hereby expressly continued in force, are hereby repealed." Since the revised statutes included no legislation concerning the flag and did not "expressly" continue in force the 1839 law, the 1839 flag law was repealed.

From the date of the repeal, September 1, 1879 until the 1933 Flag Act, Texas was without an official state flag.

Texas state flag
[ LARGE PRINT    [ LARGER PRINT ]    [ COLOR ME ]

The legislation adopted in 1933, was quite particular about the design and location of the lone star and the colors of the flag: blood red, azure blue and white. The colors were said to impart the "lessons of the Flag: bravery, loyalty and purity." However, no standard for "blood red" or "azure blue" existed and flags manufactured within the state varied in color and dimension.

In 1993, the statutes concerning the flag were revisited and the official description of the state flag was revised.

The colors of the flag were also stipulated as being "Old Glory Red" and "Old Glory Blue", the same colors found in the flag of the United States. These colors are defined in the Standard Color Reference of America.

Texas Flag Law

The following information was excerpted from the Texas Statutes, Title 11, Subtitle A, Chapter 3100.

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

(1) has a width to length ratio of two to three; and

(2) contains:

A) one blue vertical stripe that has a width equal to one-third the length of the flag;

B) two equal horizontal stripes, the upper stripe white, the lower stripe red, each having a length equal to two-thirds the length of the flag; and

C) one white, regular five-pointed star

(i) located in the center of the blue stripe;

(ii) oriented so that one point faces upward; and

(iii) sized so that the diameter of a circle passing through the five points of the star is equal to three-fourths the width of the blue stripe.

(1) the same colors used in the United States flag; and

(2) defined as numbers 193 (red) and 281 (dark blue) of the Pantone Matching System.

(1) the flag should be attached at the peak of the staff;

(2) the staff should be at least 2-1/2 times as long as the flag's hoist; and

(3) if the staff has a finial, the finial should be a star or a spearhead.

(1) the flag may be decorated with gold fringe; and

(2) the staff may be decorated with gold cord or tassels.

SUBCHAPTER B. DISPLAY OF STATE FLAG

(1) on each state or national holiday and on any special occasion of historical significance; and

(2) daily on or near the main administration building of each state institution.

(1) 24 hours a day, if properly illuminated during darkness; or

(2) in the same circumstances that the flag of the United States may be displayed.

(1) should not be above the state flag; or

(2) if the other flag or pennant is at the same height as the state flag, should not be, from the perspective of an observer, to the left of the state flag.

(1) the flags should be displayed on flagpoles or flagstaffs of the same height;

(2) the flags should be of approximately equal size;

(3) the flag of the United States should be, from the perspective of an observer, to the left of the state flag;

(4) the flag of the United States should be hoisted before the state flag is hoisted; and

(5) the state flag should be lowered before the flag of the United States is lowered.

(1) the state flag should be hoisted before the flag or pennant of the municipality, locality, or organization is hoisted; and

(2) the flag or pennant of the municipality, locality, or organization should be lowered before the state flag is lowered.

(1) should be, from the perspective of an observer, to the left of the other flag on a separate flagpole or flagstaff; and

(2) should not be above the other flag on the same flagpole or flagstaff or on a taller flagpole or flagstaff than the flagpole or flagstaff on which the other flag is displayed.

(1) be, from the perspective of an observer, to the left of the other flag; and

(2) have its flagstaff in front of the flagstaff of the other flag.

(1) be, from the perspective of an observer, to the right of the flag of the United States; and

(2) have its flagstaff behind the flagstaff of the United States flag.

(1) the blue stripe should be above the white and red stripes; and

(2) the white stripe should be, from the perspective of an observer, to the left of the red stripe.

(1) the blue stripe is at the head of the casket; and

(2) the white stripe is over the left shoulder of the casket.

(1) the staff of the flag of the United States should be clamped to the right fender of the vehicle; and

(2) the staff of the state flag should be clamped to the left fender of the vehicle.

(1) each citizen of this state who is present and not in uniform should:

(A) face the state flag and stand at attention with the person's right hand over the heart; and

(B) if wearing a head covering that is easy to remove, remove the head covering with the right hand and hold it at the person's left shoulder, with the person's hand over the heart;

(2) each person who is present and in uniform should make the military salute; and

(3) each person who is present but not a citizen of this state should stand at attention.

(1) touch anything beneath it, including the ground or floor;

(2) be dipped to any person or thing, except as a mark of honor for the United States flag;

(3) trail in water;

(4) have placed on any part of it, or attached to it, any mark, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing;

(5) be used or stored in a manner in which it can easily be soiled or damaged;

(6) be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything;

(7) be displayed on a float in a parade, except from a staff or in the manner provided by Section 3100.059;

(8) be draped over the hood, top, side, or back of any vehicle, train, boat, or aircraft;

(9) be used as bedding or drapery;

(10) be festooned or drawn back or up in folds, but instead allowed to fall free; or

(11) be used as a covering for a ceiling.

(1) change or repeal any requirement relating to the display of the state flag provided by Sections 3100.051-3100.070; or

(2) prescribe additional requirements concerning the display of the state flag.

(1) the display of:

(A) a municipal flag;

(B) the state flag;

(C) the flag of another state of the United States;

(D) the United States flag; or

(E) the flag of a nation other than the United States; or

(2) any conduct covered by this subchapter.

SUBCHAPTER C. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO STATE FLAG

(1) public or private meeting at which the pledge of allegiance to the United States flag is recited; and

(2) state historical event or celebration.

(1) not in uniform should:

(A) face the state flag and stand at attention with the person's right hand over the heart;

(B) if wearing a head covering that is easy to remove, remove that head covering with the right hand and hold it at the person's left shoulder, with the person's hand over the heart; and

(C) recite the pledge; or

(2) in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and make the military salute.

SUBCHAPTER D. RETIREMENT OF STATE FLAG

(1) each citizen of this state who is present and not in uniform should:

(A) stand at attention with the person's right hand over the heart; and

(B) if wearing a head covering that is easy to remove, remove the head covering with the person's right hand and hold it at the person's left shoulder, with the right hand over the heart;

(2) each person who is present and in uniform should make the military salute at the appropriate time as designated by the ceremony; and

(3) each person who is present but not a citizen of this state should stand at attention.

I am your Texas flag!

I was born January 25, 1839.

I am one of only two flags of an American state that has also served as the symbol of an independent nation--The Republic of Texas.

While you may honor me in retirement, the spirit I represent will never retire!

I represent the spirit of Texas--Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow!

I represent the bravery of the Alamo and the Victory at San Jacinto.

My spirit rode with the Texas Rangers over the Forts Trail of the Big Country and herded cattle through the Fort Worth stockyards. I have sailed up Galveston Bay and kept a watchful eye over our El Paso del Norte.

My colors are in the waters of the Red River and in the Bluebonnets of the Texas Hill Country.

You'll find my spirit at the Light House of Palo Duro and in the sands of Padre Island;

I am in the space station at Houston and atop the oil wells of West Texas.

From the expanse of the Big Bend to the Riverwalk of San Antone--all of Texas is my home!

I wave over the cotton and grain fields of the High Plains, and I am deep in the rich soil of the Rio Grande Valley.

I am proudly displayed under the Capitol Dome, and I fly high above the concrete canyons of downtown Dallas.

You'll find my spirit in the East Texas piney woods and along the Grandeur of the Rio Grande.

I represent Texas--every Child, Woman, and Man!

The blue field in me stands for the valor of our ancestors in the battles for our country.

Let us retire the blue--Salute!

My white field stands for the purity in all our Texas hearts! It represents the honor that each of us should pay to our state each day.

Let us retire the white--Salute!

The red is for all of the men and women who have died in service of our state--whether as members of the armed services or as citizen Samaritans.

Let us retire the red--Salute!

My lone, independent star is recognized worldwide because it represents ALL of Texas and stands for our unity as one for God, State, and Country.

Let us retire the lone star--Salute!

Join in the pledge to the Texas flag:

"Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one and indivisible."


Source: Texas Legislature Online, Texas Statutes, (http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/statutes.html), November 14, 2007.
Source: The Texas State Historical Association, The Handbook of Texas Online, (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/FF/msf1.html), November 14, 2007.
Source: House Journal -- 68th Day, Thursday, May 3,2007, p. 3055-3057
Source: Flags of the Fifty States and Their Incredible Histories: The Complete Guide to America's Most Powerful Symbols by Randy Howe. The Lyons Press; First edition edition (November 1, 2002).
Source: State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols: A Historical Guide Third Edition, Revised and Expanded by Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer. Greenwood Press; 3 Sub edition (October 30, 2001).
Source: State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers, and Other Symbols by George Earlie Shankle. Reprint Services Corp; Revised edition (June 1971).


Additional Information

Flags of Texas: The Handbook of Texas Online from the Texas State Historical Association.

Texas (U.S.): FOTW "Flags of the World" Web Site.

State Flags: Complete list of state flags with links to large pictures and images suitable for coloring.

Flag Terminology: The parts of a flag and terms associated with its design.

Visit Our Flag Shop: Purchase all kinds of flags and banners, lapel pins, 50 state flag sets, decals, patches, college banners at the Flag Shop.

Purchase Texas State Flags: You may purchase quality state flags from the United States Flag Store.

Flags of the Fifty States and their Incredible Histories: A complete guide to America's most powerful symbols by Randy Howe.

How Proudly They Wave: Flags of the Fifty States: This book, by Rita D. Haban, is geared toward younger readers.

 
 
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