Texas pride is the sense of demographic pride felt by people who currently or formerly lived in the state of Texas. Texas is a state with a unique cultural history and complex story of development. This individuality has shaped a state-wide construct of indomitable demographic pride.
Texas has officially been nicknamed "The Lone Star State" as a tribute to the state's time as a sovereign nation. While Texans are also proud to be Americans, the spirit of independence still exists among Texans. Exactly where this symbolism came from is up for debate as many historians have different arguments. However, the Texas State Legislature says the following regarding The Lone Star State:
"Whatever its origins, and whatever its uses, from the serious to the playful, the phrase 'The Lone Star State' has achieved universal currency as a sharp and memorable way to evoke the unique legacy of Texas and the indomitable spirit of its people"
By taking a look into Texas History, we can see how the events of the past have contributed to the undeniable state-wide identity and cultural nationalism that Texans possess. The Battle of the Alamo was a pivotal event in Texas history and arguably sparked the flame of Texas pride. During this fight for freedom, people from across the United States came to Texas to support the cause. However, contrary to popular belief, they didn’t come as courageous men who had a burning desire to fight for Texan Independence. Instead, many were drawn to Texas by the hopeful prospect of a new beginning. Their stories and struggles inevitably became part of Texas history and contributed to what would soon emerge as intense state pride. As the war for independence went on, this iconic pride that Americans known so well today, began to develop. Men like James Bowie, David Crockett, as well as lesser-known Texas heroes, like James Bonham and Almeron Dickenson, began to emerge as the cause for the fight became more personal and the pride in Texas and desire for independence grew. Eventually, the war came to a point where victory seemed impossible. Many, justifiably so, chose to leave in order to spare their own lives. However, others chose to risk their lives in a war that seemed unwinnable. While the battle was lost, the cry "Remember the Alamo" still rings across the land as a memorial of the acts of courage that took place nearly two centuries ago. These men, these volunteers, these martyrs mark the beginning of an unmatched cultural nationalism that would stand tall and true through decades of change.
In April 1836, Texas gained independence after defeating the Mexican army at The Battle of San Jacinto. Their status as an independent country remained intact until 1845 when they became the 28th state to be seceded into the Union. During this period of independence that lasted almost a decade, patriotism flourished. This patriotism that was developed during this period of sovereignty undoubtedly continued once Texas became part of the Union and remains a thriving aspect of Texas culture today.
Media plays a large role in promoting this cultural unity and nationalistic state pride. A song written by June Hershey and Don Swander called “Deep in the Heart of Texas” can be heard at events across the state. Sports teams like the San Antonio Spurs, Texas Rangers, Dallas Stars, and Dallas Mavericks feature this song at home games. Texas pride is channeled as thousands of fans stand up and shout the lyrics.
In 1985, the “Don’t Mess With Texas” campaign was launched. It was originally launched by the Texas Department of Transportation as an ad discouraging littering on Texas roadways. Today, it has morphed into a slogan that is used to promote Texas pride. The Texas Department of Transportation prides themselves on the creation of this slogan as it still fuels Texas state pride.
From 1978-1991 an American Primetime TV show aired called “Dallas.” The show depicted a wealthy family, who own an independent oil company. A picture perfect family like this, tied directly to Texas, furthers the Texas superiority stereotype and fuels Texas pride.
Texas historian and fanatic T.R. Fehrenbach authored books that told the Texas tale. He wrote that "Texas was not a society, but a people" and he believed that the history of Texas was so powerful that it was "based on, but not limited by facts." Fehrenbach was considered one of Texas' greatest historians and fearlessly promoted the narrative that everything is, indeed, bigger and better in Texas.
Demographic pride in Texas has been created and furthered as children are taught at a young age what Texas is all about. Studies show that exposing children to stereotypes good or bad, reinforces the validity of the stereotypes in their minds and creates a long-lasting bias towards these subjects. This is displayed in the Texas education system as they encourage vast amounts of curriculum centered on Texas history. In fact, when compared to every other state, the Texas Education Agency demands that a greater amount of state history curriculum be incorporated into the school year as young students are expected to extensively understand different eras of Texas history through the modern day. In a study performed by the University of Texas at Austin, researchers found that those who most strongly identified as "Texan" were not only those who were born and raised in Texas, but also those who immigrated to Texas from another state as a young child.
"The fact that both native-born Texans as well as those who came to Texas from another state as children are so much more likely to strongly identify with Texas than the other groups suggests that Texas identity is in large part forged in school, especially in grades 4 through 7 when students are required to study Texas history in social studies class." 
The children who grow up learning to take such pride in their state grow up to be adults who continue to push the "Texas is the best" narrative. This cycle continues and as a result, Texans, as a whole, outwardly portray immense amounts of state pride.
In addition to regulated curriculum, Texas law requires that the pledge of allegiance to the United States flag as well as the pledge of allegiance to the Texas flag be said on a daily basis followed by a moment of silence.
Portrayals of Texas pride can be found across the state. Whether it's a "Don't Mess With Texas" t-shirt, a Texas-shaped necklace, tattoo, or a loud and proud rodeo, Texans express their gratitude for liberty and show their undeniable pride.
- "Why is Texas Called the Lone Star State?". TXU Energy.
- Guillen. “Concurrent Resolution.” 84(R) HCR 78 - Introduced Version - Bill Text, capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/HC00078I.htm.
- Defenders of the Alamo: Who Were They , and Why Did They Do It?" Torch Magazine, Spring 2016, 8-11.
- Bartee Haile (24 July 2017). Unforgettable Texans. Arcadia Publishing Incorporated. ISBN 978-1-4396-6169-7.
- Homer S Thrall (16 April 2012). A History of Texas: From the Earliest Settlement to the Year 1885: With an Appendix Containing the Constitution of the State of Texas, Adopted November, 1875, and the Amendments of 1883: For Use in Schools and for General Readers. Nabu Press. ISBN 978-1-248-85117-3.
- Alchin, Linda. “Texas History Timeline.” Texas History Timeline, Siteseen Ltd, Mar. 2018, www.datesandevents.org/american-timelines/43-texas-history-timeline.htm.
- "Don't Mess with Texas." Don’t Mess With Texas .http://www.dontmesswithtexas.org/about/history/.
- Fehrenbach, T.R. (2000). Lone Star: A History of Texas and The Texans. Da Capo Press.
- Martin, Douglas. "T.R. Fehrenbach, Historian, Dies at 88; Chronicler of Larger-Than-Life Texas". The New York Times.
- Erenkrantz, Justin R. “Don't Mess With Texas Justin R. Erenkrantz Social Science Core.” Don't Mess With Texas, www.erenkrantz.com/Words/Texas.html.
- Myers, Adam. "Texans Are Proud of Where They're From." The University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts. January 19, 2010. https://texaspolitics.utexas.edu/blog/texans-are-proud-where-theyre.
- Myers, Adam. "Texans Are Proud of Where They're From." The University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts. January 19, 2010. Accessed October 11, 2018. https://texaspolitics.utexas.edu/blog/texans-are-proud-where-theyre.
- “Texas Education Code Sec. § 25.082 Pledges of Allegiance; Minute of Silence.” Texas Education Code Section 25.082 - Pledges of Allegiance; Minute of Silence - 2017 Texas Statutes - Texas.Public.Law, 2013, texas.public.law/statutes/tex._educ._code_section_25.082.
- Fernandez, Manny. "Texans, and Others, on What Their State Means to Them." The New York Times, May 10, 2016
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