The Fascinating History of the Texas State Flag

The Texas State Flag is one of the most recognizable flags in the United States. The flag, with its bold design and striking colors, carries a rich history and deep symbolism. But how exactly did this flag come to be? What inspired its design? And what does it represent? In this article, we’ll dive into the fascinating history of the Texas State Flag, examining its origins, development, and meaning. We’ll also share some interesting facts and trivia along the way. Whether you’re a native Texan or simply curious about the Lone Star State, this article is sure to provide new insights into this iconic symbol of Texas pride.

The First Flags of Texas

The First Flags Of Texas
The first flags of Texas hold historical significance to the state as they represent its long and proud history. Three flags were prominent in the early days of Texas: the Lone Star flag, which was the first flag of the Republic of Texas in 1836, the Burnet flag, which replaced the Lone Star flag, and the Lamar flag, which was adopted in 1839. These flags were used during Texas’ fight for independence from Mexico and are an integral part of the state’s history. The evolution of state flags is commonplace across the US, with each flag having its unique history, such as the evolution of the California flag, the story behind the New York state coat of arms, and the red saltire cross history in the Florida flag, among others.

The Lone Star Flag in 1836

The Lone Star Flag is the oldest state flag in the United States, having been first used in 1836 during the Texas Revolution. The flag was created when Texas declared its independence from Mexico, and it was flown by rebels who wanted to show their support for the cause.

The flag had a white background with a single, prominent blue star in the center. The star represented the state of Texas, which was named the Lone Star State. The flag’s design symbolized Texas’ fierce independence and its determination to remain separate from Mexico.

The Lone Star Flag was first flown over the Texas Capitol in 1836, and it remained the official flag of Texas until 1839. During that time, it became a symbol of the state’s identity and was flown by many Texans who were proud of their history and heritage.

Interestingly, the Lone Star Flag was not the only flag used during the Texas Revolution. In fact, there were several different flags that were flown at various times during the conflict. However, the Lone Star Flag proved to be the most popular and enduring, and it remains a symbol of Texas to this day.

The Burnet Flag in 1836

The Burnet Flag was one of the first flags of the Republic of Texas, and it was named after its creator, David G. Burnet. The flag was designed in 1836 and featured a gold star and the letters “T-E-X-A-S” on a blue background. The Burnet Flag was used as an official national flag during the first months of the Republic of Texas.

The Burnet Flag was simple and easy to recognize, making it a popular choice among the people of Texas. The star on the flag represented the state, while the letters spelled out the name of the country. The blue background on the flag represented loyalty, trust, and wisdom.

The Burnet Flag was created during a time of turmoil and war in Texas. The Republic of Texas had just won its independence from Mexico, and there was still a great deal of unrest in the region. The Burnet Flag was a symbol of hope and unity for the people of Texas during this difficult time.

The Burnet Flag was eventually replaced by the Lone Star Flag, which is still the official flag of the state of Texas today. However, the Burnet Flag remains an important part of Texas history and is still celebrated by many Texans today.

Interesting fact: The Burnet Flag was also known as the “David Burnet Flag” and the “David G. Burnet Standard.”

If you want to learn more about state flags, check out our article on Arizona State Flag Timeline.

The Lamar Flag in 1839

The Lamar flag was introduced by President Mirabeau B. Lamar in January 1839, and it was intended to replace the Burnet flag. The design included a white background with a blue horizontal stripe above a vertical red stripe on the hoist side. A white five-pointed star was situated in the center of the blue stripe. The colors of the flag had specific meanings: white for purity, blue for loyalty, and red for bravery. The placement of the star symbolized Texas’s position as an independent republic, while the blue stripe represented the azure skies of Texas.

Although the Lamar flag was in use for only a year, it played an important role in Texas’s flag history by influencing the design of the current Texas state flag. The idea of a single white star on a blue background was later adopted for the 1933 official state flag, and it remains an iconic symbol of Texas to this day.

Interestingly, President Lamar was not the only one to propose a new flag during this time. E.M. Pease, a Texas Congressman, also proposed a new design that was similar to the Lamar flag but had six stars instead of one. Pease’s design never gained popularity and was eventually forgotten.

The Lamar flag was a transitional flag that helped pave the way for the Lone Star design that is so synonymous with Texas. Its design was simple yet meaningful, and it represented Texas’s fierce independence and pride.

The Making of the Texas State Flag

In 1838, the leaders of Texas launched a contest to design the official state flag, offering a prize of $100. The submissions were required to include a *white star of five points* on a blue background, and the final design was to be approved by the Congress of the Republic of Texas. Over 600 entries were received, and the winning design was submitted by Peter Krag of Montgomery County. The first official state flag was adopted in 1933, which included a vertical *red stripe* along the hoist side. This 13:20 ratio design was modified in 1985 to a 2:3 ratio flag. This version which is currently in use and has the state seal surrounded by a five-pointed star on the vertical stripe was designed by Charles B. Stewart.

The Design Contest in 1838

In 1838, the Texas Congress decided to hold a design contest to create an official flag for the Republic of Texas. The prize for the winning design was $50. Many designs were submitted, but ultimately the winner was a design submitted by Dr. Charles B. Stewart. Interestingly, Stewart’s design was the only one to feature a single star, rather than multiple stars or other symbols. The single star was said to represent the “Lone Star” of Texas, as the state was separated from Mexico and forged its own path as an independent republic.

Stewart’s design consisted of a vertical blue stripe on the left side of the flag, with a white star in the center. The remaining portion of the flag was made up of horizontal stripes of white, red, and a darker shade of blue. The colors of the flag were also said to hold symbolic meaning, with blue representing loyalty, white representing purity, and red representing bravery.

The “Lone Star Flag” design quickly became popular and was adopted as the official flag of Texas on January 25, 1839. It was flown proudly over the Republic of Texas for several years until Texas joined the United States in 1845, and the flag became a symbol of the state within the US.

Despite the popularity of the Lone Star Design, there were many other designs submitted to the contest that featured multiple stars, similar to the current design of the Texas state flag. Some designs featured seven stars to represent the seven counties of Texas, while others had as many as 24 stars to represent the states in the United States. However, the simplicity and boldness of the Lone Star design won out, and it remains one of the most recognizable state flags in the US.

Interestingly, there was also a proposal in the early 1990s to return to a six-star version of the Texas state flag, known as the “Bonnie Blue” flag. This proposal did not gain enough support to be implemented, and the lone star design remains the official state flag of Texas to this day.

The Final Design by Peter Krag

In 1838, the officials announced a design contest for the new Texas state flag, which received many submissions. However, none of the entries were satisfactory. After much thought, the contest committee decided to combine ideas from different submissions. Consequently, Peter Krag, a German immigrant, used a combination of ideas to create the final design.

Krag’s design included one vertical blue stripe on the left-hand side of the flag and two horizontal stripes; the top stripe was white, and the bottom stripe was red. Meanwhile, the blue stripe would fill one-third of the flag, and centered within it would be a large, white, five-pointed star.

Despite a few changes made to Krag’s design by the committee, his original layout became the basis of the Texas state flag. The design was eventually approved as the official state flag in 1933.

Interestingly, Peter Krag also designed a six-star variant of the flag that would represent the six flags that Texas had flown under – Spanish, Mexican, Republic of Texas, United States, Confederate States, and finally, the United States again. However, the six-star flag was not adopted and remains more of a novelty.

The final design of the Texas state flag by Peter Krag is a historically important emblem of Texas and is recognized worldwide as a symbol of the state’s sovereignty and cultural heritage.

The First Official State Flag in 1933

It wasn’t until more than 90 years after the battle of San Jacinto that the Texas State Legislature officially defined the state flag in 1933. When the legislation was first enacted, it stated that the flag should be “a rectangle that is one-third longer than it is wide, and contains: (1) a blue horizontal stripe one-third the entire length of the flag wide, and two equal vertical stripes, the left stripe being white and the right stripe being red, each two-thirds the entire length of the flag long; and (2) a white, regular five-pointed star in the center of the blue stripe, oriented so that one point faces upward, and of such a size 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.”

In 1933, the 3rd Flag Act was passed, making this version of the flag officially the first Texas State Flag. It wasn’t until 1960 that the legislators realized they had never officially defined the shades of red and blue used on the flag, and consequently, the colors started to vary.

This version of the flag was used for over 50 years until it was revised in 1985 in order to match the specifications of the 1933 law more closely.

The Current Version Adopted in 1985

In 1985, the current version of the Texas State Flag was officially adopted by the state legislature. This version is very similar to the previous design except for a few minor changes. The most significant change was the addition of the word “TEXAS” spelled out in bold, capitalized letters across the bottom of the flag.

Here is a breakdown of the current version of the Texas State Flag:

Element Description
Lone Star Located in the upper left-hand corner of the flag, the Lone Star represents the state of Texas on its own. It is a symbol of the state’s independence and its fight for freedom. It is also a nod to Texas’ nickname, “The Lone Star State.”
Horizontal Stripes The flag has two horizontal stripes, one white stripe on the top and one red stripe on the bottom. These stripes are meant to symbolize bravery (red) and purity (white).
Vertical Stripe The blue vertical stripe on the left-hand side of the flag is meant to represent loyalty.
Spelled Out Name The bold, all-caps letters spelling out “TEXAS” were added to the 1985 version of the flag to make it more clear which state the flag represents.

The current version of the Texas State Flag retains much of its original meaning and symbolism while offering a few minor modifications to make it more easily recognizable. The Lone Star and colors remain strong symbols of Texas’ unique history and identity, while the addition of the spelled-out name ensures that there is no confusion about which state the flag belongs to.

Meaning and Symbolism of the Texas State Flag

Meaning And Symbolism Of The Texas State Flag
The Texas State Flag is rich in symbolism and meaning. The lone star on the flag represents Texas as an independent state, which stands for its fighting spirit. It signifies the state’s hope and unity under one flag. The blue field on the flag suggests loyalty, and it serves to represent the strength of the state’s loyalty to the United States. The red, white, and blue colors of the flag are utilized and arranged with prominence. The vertical stripe of the flag symbolizes the diverse geography of Texas, from the piney woods of East Texas to the deserts of West Texas. The Texas State Flag pays tribute to the historical significance and cultural identity of the state.

The Lone Star

The Lone Star on the Texas State Flag is the defining feature of this iconic symbol of Texan pride and identity. The flag’s origin is attributed to the phrase “The Lone Star State,” a term that came to embody Texas’ uniqueness and unwavering spirit. The star is a representation of Texas and its history as an independent and sovereign republic. The star is also a symbol of the state’s connection to Mexico, as it was once part of the territory of Coahuila y Tejas, which was then a part of Mexico.

The star has a long history in Texas, dating back to 1819 when it was used on flags by the Long Expedition. It was further used by the Republic of Texas, whose seal featured a single star. The meaning behind this symbol was to convey that Texas was a “lone star” and was a reminder of its independent and self-sufficient nature.

The design of the current Texas flag was inspired by the Bonnie Blue Flag which was used during the Civil War. This flag was a single white star on a blue background and became a symbol of the Confederacy and Southern pride. Texas’ flag, however, combines the “Lone Star” with the colors of the United States, representing the state’s allegiance to the nation.

It’s also worth noting that Texas has never officially adopted a nickname besides “The Lone Star State.” The Lone Star is seen everywhere in Texas, from the state’s capitol building to flags flown on front porches across the state, illustrating the deep connection Texans have to their emblem of independence.

The Colors

The colors used in the Texas State Flag are significant and purposeful. The background is composed of two colors, blue and crimson red. These colors were chosen because they represent loyalty, bravery, and purity; characteristics that Texans highly value. The blue on the flag symbolizes loyalty while the crimson red represents bravery.

Interestingly, the exact shade of these colors is also important. The blue should be a darker navy blue, not light blue or turquoise. The crimson red should be a deep, dark red, not bright or light red. This attention to detail ensures that the Texas State Flag is properly represented and recognized.

The white star in the center of the flag is a symbolic representation of Texas’s independence, when it broke away from Mexico and became its own republic in 1836. The five points of the star represent the unity of Texans as a people, and also stand for the state’s qualities of faith, loyalty, courage, strength, and independence.

The colors and design of the Texas State Flag are iconic and instantly recognizable around the world. Texans take great pride in their flag and what it represents. It is common to see the Texas State Flag displayed in homes, businesses, and public places throughout the state. The flag serves as a reminder of Texas’s rich history and its unique culture, and continues to be a symbol of state pride and unity.

The Vertical Stripe

The vertical stripe on the Texas State Flag is an essential element that contributes to its unique and recognizable appearance. The stripe is located on the hoist side of the flag, separating the blue and the white fields. Here are some interesting facts about the vertical stripe:

Fact Description
Width The vertical stripe on the Texas State Flag is one-third the width of the entire flag.
Color The vertical stripe is a darker shade of red, giving a contrast to the white field next to it.
Symbolism The vertical stripe symbolizes bravery, strength, and loyalty. It represents the unity of all Texans as they strive for a better future.
Use in other flags The vertical stripe on the Texas State Flag is also present in several other flags, including the Flag of Chile, the Flag of Liberia, and the Flag of New Mexico. However, the colors and meanings of the stripe may differ between each flag.
Historical origin The vertical stripe’s design is inspired by the flag of the Republic of Mexico, which once ruled over Texas. The Mexican flag features three vertical stripes of similar widths in green, white, and red, symbolizing the country’s independence from Spain.

The vertical stripe on the Texas State Flag adds a crucial element to the flag’s design and carries deep symbolism of Texas’s history, values, and unity. Its bold and unique appearance is recognized internationally and has inspired the design of other flags around the world.

Interesting Facts about the Texas State Flag

The Texas State Flag is the only state flag that can fly at the same height as the US flag. This is because Texas is the only state that was once an independent nation. When Texas joined the Union in 1845, it was given permission to keep its flag at the same height.

The Texas State Flag has been to space. Astronaut Alan Bean, who was born in Texas, took a small Texas State Flag on board the Apollo 12 mission to the moon in 1969. The flag has since been framed and is now displayed at the Capitol in Austin, Texas.

The design of the Texas State Flag inspired the Chilean Flag. The Chilean flag was redesigned in 1817 and its designers were said to have been influenced by the flag of Texas. The two flags share a similar color scheme and both feature a single star.

The Texas State Flag’s nickname is the “Lone Star Flag”. The flag’s name comes from the single white star on the blue field. The Lone Star motif has become a symbol of Texas and is used in many other aspects of Texan culture, such as sports teams and businesses.

The Texas State Flag has a code of etiquette. The code outlines proper display and use of the flag, such as always displaying it above other flags and never allowing it to touch the ground. Texans take great pride in their state flag and its proper use is considered important.

The original Texas State Flag had two red stripes. The flag that was adopted in 1839 by the Republic of Texas featured two horizontal red stripes on either side of a white stripe, with a blue field and a single white star in the center. The red stripes were later removed in the design that became the official state flag in 1933.

The Texas State Flag is beloved by Texans around the world. Texans living overseas often display the state flag as a reminder of home. The flag can be seen in numerous locations around the world, from military bases to sports stadiums.

The Texas State Flag is available in many different forms. The flag is available in a variety of sizes, from large outdoor flags to small lapel pins. It is also available on a wide range of products, from T-shirts and hats to coffee mugs and mouse pads. The versatility of the Texas State Flag means that Texans can display their state pride in many different ways.


In conclusion, the Texas State Flag holds a rich history and deep meaning that has remained a source of pride for Texans over the years. From the first flags of Texas to the official state flag, each design holds specific symbolism that helped shape the Lone Star State’s identity.

Whether it’s the lone star, the colors, or the vertical stripe, the Texas State Flag tells a story of the state’s strength, bravery, and loyalty. The flag is not only a symbol of pride for Texans but also a representation of their values and history.

Moreover, the Texas State Flag remains the only state flag that can be flown at the same height as the US flag, an honor that reflects Texas’s unique history and culture.

Overall, the Texas State Flag has become not only a recognizable symbol of Texas but a representation of the state’s legacy and values. It serves as a reminder of the brave men and women who fought for Texas’s independence and the state’s continued commitment to freedom, unity, and resilience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the significance of the lone star in the Texas state flag?

The lone star in the Texas state flag represents Texan pride and independence, and it also symbolizes the state’s struggle for freedom and sovereignty.

When was the first Texas flag created?

The first Texas flag was created in 1836, during the Texas Revolution.

Who designed the current Texas state flag?

The current Texas state flag was designed by Peter Krag, a German immigrant who won a design contest in 1838.

What do the colors in the Texas state flag represent?

The colors in the Texas state flag represent important traits in Texan culture and history. White represents purity, blue represents loyalty, and red represents bravery.

What is the meaning of the vertical stripe in the Texas state flag?

The vertical stripe in the Texas state flag represents Texan unity and determination.

Why did Texas have several different flags before adopting the current one?

Texas had several different flags before adopting the current one because the state was in a state of political and social flux during its early history, and different leaders and groups had different visions for the state’s identity and symbolism.

Who was Burnet, the person for whom one of the early Texas flags was named?

David G. Burnet was an early political leader in Texas who served as interim President of the Republic of Texas in 1836. The Burnet flag was named after him.

What are some interesting or unique facts about the Texas state flag?

The Texas state flag is the only state flag that can also be flown at the same height as the American flag, and it is the only state flag that was once a national flag. Additionally, the Texas state flag is one of the most recognizable flags in the world, and it has been the inspiration for many other flags and symbols.

What are some common misconceptions about the Texas state flag?

One common misconception about the Texas state flag is that it is considered an independent country, but in fact, Texas is one of the United States. Another misconception is that the flag’s red, white, and blue colors represent the state’s relationship with Mexico, but the colors are actually meant to represent Texas’s own pride and heritage.

What is the proper way to display the Texas state flag?

The Texas state flag should be flown at the same height as the American flag, and it should always be flown on a separate staff and not beneath any other flag. When the Texas state flag is flown with other state flags, it should be the first flag on the left side (facing the flags).


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