Lone Star Legacy: Unpacking Texas’ Iconic Nickname

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Located in south-central America, Texas is the second-largest state in the United States by area and population. Our state is home to almost 29 million residents!

Texas was known for over 200 years as the lone star state, although it wasn’t until 2015 that this name was declared official. The lone star is found on the Texas state flag and the Texas state seal.

As we always say, “Everything is bigger in Texas,” history and spirit were no exception. So, why is Texas the Lone Star state? Let’s find out!

The Texas state flag waving along with the national flag of the United States of America - Texas View

Why is Texas the Lone Star State?

Texas was called the “Lone Star State,” commemorating the struggle against Mexico. Texas adopted the lone star flag after becoming an independent republic in 1836. Moreover, the famous five-handed white star over the bright blue background reflects our Texan pride.

In the early 19th century, Texas was a part of Mexico after the latter became independent from Spain. Back then, Mexican authorities encouraged immigration from the US to Texas, resulting in population growth in the area.

After gaining national prominence, General Santa Anna won the election and became the president of the Republic of Mexico. Shortly after, he proclaimed himself dictator, which brought him into conflict with a movement for independence in Texas.

Ultimately, the Texas revolution triumphed, and Texas became an independent republic, raising the lone star flag.

The Lone Star State History

Over the years, and since 1519, Texas was dominated by six nations. As a result of these events, the slogan “six flags over Texas” emerged. It was incorporated everywhere, from theme parks and malls to museums and displays, becoming part of Texas’s visual identity.

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Those six flags belonged to:

  1. The Kingdom of Spain: as part of the European colonization, Texas was colonized by Spain from 1519 to 1685 and again from 1690 to 1821.
  2. The Kingdom of France: the new colony, Fort Saint Louis, was founded by France in 1685 under the direction of Robert de La Salle, the French explorer. By 1690, however, this colony was abandoned after La Salle’s followers murdered him.
  3. The Republic of Mexico: in 1821, Mexico laid a hand over Texas. Shortly after, they revolted against the Mexican dictator General Santa Anna and won the Texas War of Independence in 1836.
  4. The Republic of Texas: for almost ten years until 1845, Texas remained an independent republic. That’s when they first started using the lone star flag as a representative of the Republic of Texas.
  5. The United States of America: in 1845, the state of Texas joined the United States of America to become the 28th state. In 1861, however, Texas seceded from the union for a brief four years and then rejoined in 1865 till the present day.
  6. The Confederate States of America: in 1861, Texas and ten other southern slave states seceded from the United States and formed their own union. They were forming what was known as the confederacy triggered the civil war in 1865. As a result, the confederacy was defeated, and Texas rejoined the United States of America.
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Six Flags Over Texas

Here’s a table of each nation that occupied Texas and what their flag looked like:

Spain1519-1685 and 1690-1821 The royal banner of Castile and León, which comprised two lions and two castles, over a red and white background
France1685-1690 A white flag covered with a pattern of golden fleurs-de-lys.
Mexico1821-1836Almost identical to the current flag of Mexico, it consists of vertical green, white, and red stripes representing religion, independence, and union. In the middle lies an eagle with a serpent in its mouth, standing on a cactus.
Republic of Texas1836-1845The known Lone Star flag with its blue, red, and white colors represents loyalty, bravery, and purity. In addition to a white star lying in the middle of the blue area.
United States of America1845-1861 and 1865-present  The famous 50-star flag.
Confederate States of America1861-1865 Two horizontal red stripes with a white stripe in between. The upper left corner is a circle of stars over a blue canton.
Six Nations That Occupied Texas – Nation/Years/Flag

The Alamo

During the Texas Revolution against Mexico, the soldiers of Texas were stationed at Alamo, determined to regain hold of Texas. They defended the fort against the Mexican troops, which were led by the dictator General Santa Anna.

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The Mexican army surrounded 200 volunteer soldiers and their leaders, William B. Travis and Jim Bowie, inside the fort. Consequently, laying a 13-day siege on Alamo.

While under siege, a volunteer smuggled a letter from Travis to “the people of Texas and all America,” calling out for help. “I shall never surrender or retreat,” wrote Travis as a beginning to his inspirational letter, which was printed and distributed all over Texas.

Finally, the volunteers inside the Alamo fort were overpowered by the Mexican army and were defeated in a heroic battle. The Mexican army was then met by the main Texan army and was eventually vanquished.

Fun Facts About Texas

  • Waco Bridge is the first suspension bridge ever built in the US, located in Waco, Texas.
  • The name Texas came from the Caddo Indian word “teycha,” which means friends or allies.
  • Our official state mammal is the Armadillo.
  • If our beloved Texas were a country, it would be the 40th largest country in the world.
  • If Texas had the population density of Newyork, it would fit the entire world population of 7.8 billion.

The Lone Star State FAQ

How long does it take to drive across Texas?

It would take about 13 hours going north to south and 11 hours going east to west.

What are the nicknames for Texas?

Aside from being called the “Lone Star State,” Texas is also called:
1. Jumbo State
2. Beef State
3. Blizzard state
4. Banner state
5. Super-American state

Who are Texians?

It was back when Mexico was encouraging immigration from the US to Texas. Anglo-Americans who came from the US were called Texians.


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Christian Linden Texas View Headshot 3 - Texas View
Author at Texas View | Texas View

Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.

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