Flag of Texas

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State of Texas
Flag of Texas.svg
Name The Lone Star Flag
Use Civil and state flag
Proportion 2:3
Adopted August 31, 1933[N 1]
Design 1/3 of the hoist is blue containing a single centered white star. The remaining field is divided horizontally into a white and red bar.
Designed by Unknown[1]

The flag of the State of Texas is defined by law as follows:

The state flag is a rectangle that has a width to length ratio of two to three and contains (1) one blue vertical stripe that has a width equal to one-third the length of the flag, (2) 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 (3) one white, regular five-pointed star located in the center of the blue stripe, oriented so that one point faces upward, and 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. The red and blue of the state flag are the same colors used in the United States flag.[2]

The Texas flag is known as the "Lone Star Flag" (giving rise to the state's nickname "The Lone Star State"). This flag was introduced to the Congress of the Republic of Texas on December 28, 1838, by Senator William H. Wharton[3] and was adopted on January 25, 1839 as the final national flag of the Republic of Texas.[3] When Texas became the 28th state of the Union on December 29, 1845, its national flag became the state flag. From 1879 until 1933 there was no official state flag, although the Lone Star remained the de facto state flag, The Revised Civil Statutes of 1879[4] repealed all statutes not explicitly renewed and since the statutes pertaining to the flag were not among those renewed, Texas was formally flagless until the passage of the Texas Flag Code in 1933.[3]

The flag, flown at homes and businesses statewide, is highly popular among Texans and is treated with a great degree of reverence and esteem within Texas. In 2001, a survey conducted by the North American Vexillological Association rated the Texas state flag second best in design quality out of the 72 Canadian provincial, U.S. state and U.S. territory flags ranked. The flag earned 8.13 out of 10 possible points.[5] The actual designer of the flag is unknown; Dr. Charles B. Stewart is credited with drawing the image used by the Third Congress when enacting the legislation adopting the flag.[6][7]


The exact shades of red, white, and blue to be used in the flag are specified by Texas statute[8] to be the same as those of the Flag of the United States, which are as follows:

Color Cable color Pantone[9] Web color[10] RGB Values
     Dark Red 70180 193 C #BF0A30 (191,10,48)
     White 70001 Safe #FFFFFF (255,255,255)
     Royal Blue (traditional) 70075 281 C #002868 (0,40,104)

Flag protocol[edit]

Proper vertical display of the Texas flag

The flag is required by law to be displayed on or near the main administration building of each state institution during each state or national holiday, and on any special occasion of historical significance,[2] permanently above both doors of the Texas State Capitol, alone at the north door, and under the U.S. flag at the south door, with the exception being if the flags are at half mast or if the POW/MIA flag is being flown with the U.S. flag; in which event the Texas flag shall only fly at the North Door.[11] State law also requires that the state flag be flown at or near any International Port of Entry.[12] When displayed vertically, the blue stripe should be at top and, from the perspective of an observer, the white stripe should be to the left of the red stripe.[13]


The Texas Flag Code assigns the following symbolism to the colors of the Texas flag: blue stands for loyalty, white for purity, and red for bravery.[14] The code also states that single (lone) star "represents ALL of Texas and stands for our unity as one for God, State, and Country." The "lone star" is, in fact, an older symbol predating the flag which was used to symbolize Texans' solidarity in declaring independence from Mexico.[15] It is still seen today as a symbol of Texas' independent spirit, and gave rise to the state's official nickname "The Lone Star State".

The idea of the single red stripe and single white stripe actually dates back to the short-lived Republic of Fredonia, a small state near modern Nacogdoches which seceded from Mexico in 1826 before being forcibly re-integrated. The new state was formed through an alliance between local Anglo settlers and Native American tribes and the Fredonian flag used a white and red stripe to symbolize the two ethnic/racial groups from which the state was formed.[16] Though this rebellion ultimately failed it served as an inspiration to the later Texas Revolution.

Pledge of allegiance[edit]

The pledge of allegiance to the state flag is as follows:

The pledge was instituted by the Texas Legislature in 1933, and originally referred to the "Texas flag of 1836" (which was the Burnet Flag, and not the Lone Star Flag then in use). In 1965, the error was corrected by deleting the words "of 1836". In 2007, the phrase "one state under God" was added.[17] The addition of "under God" has been challenged in court, though an injunction was denied.[18]

Revolutionary flags[edit]

During the Texas Revolution, a great number and variety of flags appeared. Some of the most well-known are listed:

The Lone Star and Stripes/Ensign of the First Texas Navy[edit]

Texas Lone Star and Stripes

This flag was widely used by both Texan land and naval forces. This flag was simply the United States flag with a Lone star in the canton. This flag echoes an earlier design, carried by the forces of James Long in a failed 1818 attempt to separate Texas from Spanish control. This earlier flag was exactly the same, save for the canton having a red background rather than blue. There is evidence that the Lone Star and Stripes was used at the battles of Goliad, the Alamo, and San Jacinto. Although interim President David Burnet issued a decree making the Lone Star and Stripes the first official flag of the Republic of Texas, it never became the legal national flag. It did remain the naval flag of Texas until annexation, and was noted for being "beneficial to our [Texan] Navy and Merchantmen" due to its resemblance to the U.S. flag. Despite its unofficial status, the flag remained well known inside the region and internationally as the symbol of Texas. The official blue and gold "Burnett Flag", on the other hand, was little known by Texans, and no contemporary illustrations of it have been discovered. An 1837 chart of national flags printed in Philadelphia showed the Lone Star and Stripes as the national flag of Texas, and Texas Senator Oliver Jones, who led the 1839 committee which approved the Lone Star Flag, was unaware that the Lone Star and Stripes was not the current official flag.[19] Later, prior to the American Civil War, this flag was carried by Floridian militiamen in Pensacola during the seizure of U.S. property in that city.[citation needed]

The Come and Take It Flag[edit]

The Come and Take It flag
Main article: Come and take it

This flag was created by the people of Gonzales, featuring the phrase, a black five pointed star, and the image of the town cannon Mexican forces had demanded they turn over. In March 1831, Juan Gomez, a Lieutenant in the Mexican Army, granted a small cannon to the colony of San Antonio. The small bronze cannon was received by the colony and signed for by Randy Tumlinson. It was then transported to Gonzales, Texas and later was the object of Texas pride. At the minor skirmish known as the Battle of Gonzales, a small group of Texans successfully resisted the Mexican forces who had orders to seize their cannon. As a symbol of defiance, the Texans had fashioned a flag containing the phrase along with a black star and an image of the cannon which they had received six years earlier from Mexican officials.

The Alamo Flag[edit]

The Alamo Flag

This flag was created by replacing the Eagle in the center of the Mexican tricolor with the year "1824", referencing the 1824 Constitution of Mexico, in support of which Texas was fighting. This was the first flag approved for use by rebel forces by a Texan legislative body. In 1835, the Texan provisional government approved the use of this flag for privateers preying on Mexican commerce.

It has often been said that the 1824 flag was flown by Texan forces at the Battle of the Alamo. However, this was never alleged until 1860, long after the battle had occurred. Modern writers have pointed out that the presence of the 1824 flag at the time and place of the battle is highly unlikely. A similar flag was flown at least briefly by Texan Tejano forces, featuring two black, six pointed stars in place of the date. It is likely that the actual "Alamo flag" referred to by accounts of the time was the Lone Star and Stripes, which had been depicted in use at earlier battles such as Goliad, and was widely referred to as the "Texian flag".[20]

The Dodson Tricolor[edit]

The Dodson Flag

This flag was designed and sewn by a Mrs. Sarah Dodson during the Revolution. It resembled the flag of Revolutionary France, but with longer proportions and the Texan Lone Star in the canton. Stephen F. Austin was initially so alarmed by the obvious symbolism that he requested the flag not be used, but it nevertheless flew over Texan forces in Cibolo Creek, and may have been the first Texan flag raised over San Antonio. The flag was one of two that flew over the small cabin in which Texas delegates ratified their declaration of independence.

The Burnet Flag[edit]

The Burnet Flag (1836–1839)

The Burnet Flag was adopted by the Texan Congress on December 10, 1836.[3] It consisted of an azure background with a large golden star, inspired by the 1810 "Bonnie Blue Flag" of the Republic of West Florida.[21]

Variants of the Burnet Flag with a white star, virtually identical to the Bonnie Blue Flag, were also common. Other variants featured the star (of either color) upside down, and/or ringed with the word TEXAS, with each letter filling one of the gaps of the star. The flag bears more than a passing resemblance to the flag of the Congo Free State.

Historical flags[edit]

National flags over Texas[edit]

Revolutionary flags[edit]

Republic of Texas flags[edit]

State flags[edit]

Secession flags of Texas, 1861[edit]

Urban legend[edit]

The Texas flag flying below the U.S. flag at the Texas State Capitol

It is a common urban legend that the Texas flag is the only state flag that is allowed to fly at the same height as the U.S. flag. Allegedly, Texas has this right inherently (as a former independent nation) or because it negotiated special provisions when it joined the Union (this version has been stated as fact on a PBS website).[24] However, the legend is false.[25] Neither the Joint Resolution for Annexing Texas to the United States nor the Ordinance of Annexation[26] contain any provisions regarding flags. According to the United States Flag Code, any state flag can be flown at the same height as the U.S. flag, but the U.S. flag should be on its right (the viewer's left). Consistent with the U.S. Flag Code, the Texas Flag Code specifies that the state flag should either be flown below the U.S. flag if on the same pole or at the same height as the U.S. flag if on separate poles.[14]

Similar flags[edit]

  • Texas's flag is similar to the flag of Chile, first used in 1817. However, the Chilean flag has a blue canton with a white star rather than the entire left side being blue. The red bottom stripe begins below the canton. The Chilean Flag predates the Lone Star Flag by 22 years.
  • The flag of North Carolina is similar to the flag of Texas; North Carolina's flag has the same basic pattern as Texas's; however, the colors of the fly are reversed. In addition, the star in the hoist is smaller and is surrounded by scrolls and lettering. The Lone Star Flag predates North Carolina's current flag by 47 years.
  • The flag of Guinea-Bissau is also similar, but has different colors, different dimensions and proportions of the sections, and a differently colored star.
  • The Flag of the Belgian Congo and its predecessors are essentially the same as the Burnet Flag.
  • The flag of Texas is quite similar to the "Flag of Céspedes" or "flag of La Demajagua", one of the two flags used during the Cuban War of Independence

Governor's flag[edit]

Standard of the Governor of Texas

The flag of the Governor of Texas consists of the Seal of Texas centered on a field of azure. Like most U.S. gubernatorial flags, there are four five-point stars at the corners of the field.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Originally adopted on January 25, 1839, de facto used between 1879-1933.


  1. ^ Vexillological Assn. of the State of Texas. "The Stewart Myth". Retrieved 2013-05-12. 
  2. ^ a b Texas Flag Code: Sec. 3100
  3. ^ a b c d Flags of Texas from the Handbook of Texas Online
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ New Mexico Tops State/Provincial Flags Survey, Georgia Loses by Wide Margin
  6. ^ Vexillological Assn. of the State of Texas. "The Stewart Myth". Retrieved 2013-05-12. 
  7. ^ [Stewart, Charles Bellinger Tate from the Handbook of Texas Online]
  8. ^ Texas Flag Code
  9. ^ The Pantone color equivalents for Old Glory Blue and Red are listed on U.S. Flag Facts at the U.S. Embassy's London site.
  10. ^ The RGB color values are taken from the Pantone Color Finder at Pantone.com.
  11. ^ Texas Government Code
  12. ^ Texas Transportation Code
  13. ^ Texas Flag Code: Sec. 3100.059
  14. ^ a b "GOVERNMENT CODE: CHAPTER 3100. STATE FLAG". State of Texas. 2001-09-01. Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2007-10-21. 
  15. ^ Francaviglia, Richard V. (1996). The Shape of Texas: Maps as Metaphors. Texas A&M University Press. p. 80. ISBN 978-0-89096-664-8. 
  16. ^ Preble, George Henry; Asnis, Charles Edward (1917). Origin history American flag naval yacht-club signals, seals arms, principal national songs United States, chronicle symbols, standards, banners, flags ancient modern nations. Philadelphia: Central Press Co. p. 635. 
  17. ^ a b "Pledge of allegiance to the state flag". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. State of Texas. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-21. 
  18. ^ David Wallace Croft, "State Pledge."
  19. ^ Maberry, Robert, Jr. (2001). Texas Flags. College Station: Texas A&M University Press. pp. 28–38. ISBN 978-1-58544-151-8. 
  20. ^ Maberry, Robert, Jr. (2001). Texas Flags. College Station: Texas A&M University Press. pp. 11, 26, 28–32. ISBN 978-1-58544-151-8. 
  21. ^ Allman, T.D. (2013). Finding Florida The True History of the Sunshine State (First ed.). New York: Atlantic Monthly Press. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-8021-2076-2. 
  22. ^ Kiel, Frank Wilson (January 2000). "A Fifteen-Star Texas Flag: A Banner Used at the Time of Secession: February 1861 and March 1861". The Southwestern Historical Quarterly 103 (3): 356–365. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  23. ^ Kiel, Frank Wilson (January 2000). "A Fifteen-Star Texas Flag: A Banner Used at the Time of Secession: February 1861 and March 1861". The Southwestern Historical Quarterly 103 (3): 356–365. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  24. ^ Texas English, from the "Do You Speak American?" series. Article by Jan Tillery and Guy Bailey of the University of Texas at San Antonio.
  25. ^ http://www.snopes.com/history/american/texasflag.asp
  26. ^ Ordinance of Annexation Approved by the Texas Convention on July 4, 1845

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]