Six flags over Texas

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For the theme park, see Six Flags Over Texas.
Six coats of arms displayed under the Texas State Capitol Dome

"Six flags over Texas" is the slogan used to describe the six countries that have had sovereignty over some or all of the current territory of the U.S. state of Texas: Spain (1519–1821), France (1685–1690), Mexico (1821–1836), the Republic of Texas (1836–1845), the Confederate States of America (1861–1865), and the United States of America (1845–1861; 1865–present).[1] This slogan has been incorporated into shopping malls, theme parks (Six Flags), and other enterprises. The six flags are also shown on the reverse of the Seal of Texas.

In 1997 the Texas Historical Commission adopted standard designs for representing the six flags.[2]

Spain (1519 to 1821)[edit]

Royal Banner of the Crown of Castille (Habsbourg Style).svg
Flag of Spain (1785-1873 and 1875-1931).svg

The first flag belonged to Spain, which ruled most of Texas from 1519 to 1821. There were two versions of the Spanish flag used during this period. Both designs incorporate the "castle and lion" emblems of the Crown of Castile (see Flag of Castile and León). The Spanish flag used in the reverse of the Seal of Texas, which was also adopted by the Texas State Historical Commission, is the flag adopted by King Charles III, containing horizontal stripes of red-gold-red and the simple arms of Castile and León. This flag was used by Spain from 1793 to 1931, and from 1936 to the present day (though the current Spanish flag now has a different coat of arms).[3][4]


France (1684 to 1690 for Fort Saint Louis and 1800 to 1803 as French Louisiana)[edit]

Pavillon royal de France.svg

The second flag was the royal banner of the Kingdom of France from 1684 to 1690. In 1684, French nobleman René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, founded a colony on the Texas Gulf Coast called Fort Saint Louis. The colony was unsuccessful, and after La Salle's murder, was soon abandoned. During this time, there was no official French flag, so a number of designs are used in displays of the "six flags".[3][4]

Later on in 1800, Spain ceded Louisiana to France under the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso. French Louisiana included northern sections of Texas. It remained in the hands of France until 1803, when France sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States. However, what would later be northern Texas was sold back to Spain years later.

Mexico (1821 to 1836)[edit]

Main article: Flag of Mexico
Flag of Mexico (1823-1864, 1867-1893).svg

The third flag flown (1821 through 1836) was the flag of Mexico. Mexico's independence was recognized by Spain in 1821. The Mexican flag displayed in the Austin Capitol is the one of the Mexican Republic of 1823 through 1864.

This flag was in use in Texas until its independence from Mexico in 1836 (Texas' declaration of independence).[4]

Republic of Texas (1836 to 1845 as the Republic of Texas; 1845-present as the State of Texas)[edit]

Main article: Flag of Texas
Flag of Texas.svg

The fourth flag belonged to the Republic of Texas from 1836 to 1845. The Republic had two national flags during its history, the first being the so-called "Burnet Flag". The "Lone Star Flag", the final national flag, became the state flag when Texas joined the United States as a U.S. state in 1845.[4]

United States of America (1845 to 1861 and 1865 to present)[edit]

US flag 28 stars.svg

The fifth and current flag is that of the United States of America, which Texas joined in 1845. Upon secession Texas abandoned this flag for its sixth, until readmission to the Union in 1865.[4]

Confederate States of America (1861 to 1865)[edit]

CSA FLAG 4.3.1861-21.5.1861.svg

The sixth flag belonged to the Confederate States of America from 1861 to 1865. During this time, the Confederacy had three national flags.[3][4]

Gallery[edit]


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Six Flags of Texas". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved September 29, 2013. 
  2. ^ June 20, 1997 issue of the Texas Register, volume 22, pages 5959–5967.
  3. ^ a b c Texas State Library – Six Flags of Texas
  4. ^ a b c d e f The Six National Flags of Texas

External links[edit]