Flags & Other Symbols
Texas often is called the Lone Star State because of its state flag with a single star. This was also the flag of the Republic of Texas. The information about historic Texas flags, the current flag and other Texas symbols may be supplemented by information available from the Texas State Library.
Pledge to the Texas Flag
A pledge to the Texas flag was adopted by the 43rd Legislature. It contained a phrase, "Flag of 1836," which inadvertently referred to the David G. Burnet flag instead of the Lone Star Flag adopted in 1839. In 2007, the 80th Legislature changed the pledge to its current form:
"Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas,
one state under God, one and indivisible."
A person reciting the pledge to the state flag should face the flag, place the right hand over the heart and remove any easily removable hat. The pledge to the Texas flag may be recited at all public and private meetings at which the pledge of allegiance to the national flag is recited and at state historical events and celebrations. The pledge to the Texas flag should be recited after the pledge of allegiance to the United States flag if both are recited.
The state song of Texas is "Texas, Our Texas." The music was written by the late William J. Marsh (who died Feb. 1, 1971, in Fort Worth at age 90), and the words by Marsh and Gladys Yoakum Wright, also of Fort Worth. It was the winner of a state song contest sponsored by the legislature and was adopted in 1929. The wording has been changed once: Shortly after Alaska became a state in Jan. 1959, the word "Largest" in the third line was changed by Mr. Marsh to "Boldest." The text follows:
Texas, Our Texas
Texas, our Texas! all hail the mighty State!
Texas, our Texas! So wonderful, so great!
Boldest and grandest, Withstanding ev'ry test;
O Empire wide and glorious, You stand supremely blest.
God bless you, Texas!
And keep you brave and strong,
That you may grow in power and worth,
Thro'out the ages long.
Texas, O Texas! Your freeborn Single Star,
Sends out its radiance To nations near and far.
Emblem of freedom! It sets our hearts aglow,
With thoughts of San Jacinto And glorious Alamo.
Texas, dear Texas! From tyrant grip now free,
Shines forth in splendor Your Star of Destiny!
Mother of Heroes! We come your children true,
Proclaiming our allegiance, Our Faith, Our Love for you.
The state motto of Texas is "Friendship." The word, Texas, or Tejas, was the Spanish pronunciation of a Caddo Indian word meaning "friends" or "allies." (Acts of 1930, fourth called session of the 41st Legislature, p. 105.)
State Citizenship Designation
The people of Texas usually call themselves Texans. However, Texian was generally used in the early period of the state's history.
Texas State Symbols
The mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) is the state bird of Texas, adopted by the 40th Legislature of 1927 at the request of the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs.
(In 2001, the Legislature placed restrictions on the adoption of future symbols by requiring that a joint resolution to designate a symbol must specify the item’s historical or cultural significance to the state.)
State Air Force
The Commemorative Air Force, based in Midland at Midland International Airport, was proclaimed the state air force of Texas by the 71st Legislature in 1989.
The Texas toad was named the state amphibian of Texas by the 81st Legislature in 2009.
Pan de campo, translated “camp bread” and often called cowboy bread, was named the state bread by the 79th Legislature in 2005. It is a simple baking-powder bread that was a staple of early Texans and often baked in a Dutch oven.
State Cooking Implement
|A Dutch oven.|
The cast iron Dutch oven was named the cooking implement of Texas by the 79th Legislature in 2005.
The Paluxysaurus jonesi, was designated the state dinosaur by the 81th Legislature in 2009.
Chili was proclaimed the Texas state dish by the 65th Legislature in 1977.
State Dog Breed
The Blue Lacy was designated the state dog breed by the 79th Legislature in 2005. The Blue Lacy is a herding and hunting breed descended from greyhound, scent-hound, and coyote stock and developed by the Lacy brothers, who left Kentucky and settled near Marble Falls in 1858.
State Epic Poem
“The Legend of Old Stone Ranch,” written by John Worth Cloud, was named the epic poem of Texas by the 61st Legislature in 1969. The work is a 400-page history of the Albany–Fort Griffin area written in verse form.
State Fiber and Fabric
Cotton was designated the state fiber and fabric by the 75th Legislature in 1997.
The Guadalupe bass, a member of the genus Micropterus within the sunfish family, was named the state fish of Texas by the 71st Legislature in 1989. It is one of a group of fish collectively known as black bass.
State Flower Song
“Bluebonnets,” written by Julia D. Booth and Lora C. Crockett, was named the state flower song by the 43rd Legislature in 1933.
State Folk Dance
The square dance was designated the state folk dance by the 72nd Legislature in 1991.
The Texas red grapefruit was designated the state fruit by the 73rd Legislature in 1993.
|Lone Star Cut.|
Texas blue topaz, the state gem of Texas, is found in the Llano uplift area in Central Texas, especially west to northwest of Mason. It was designated by the 61st Legislature in 1969.
State Gemstone Cut
The Lone Star Cut was named the state gemstone cut by the 65th Legislature in 1977.
Sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), a native grass found on many different soils, was designated the state grass of Texas by the 62nd Legislature in 1971.
State Health Nut
The pecan was designated the state nut by the 77th Legislature in 2001.
The American Quarter Horse was named the state horse by the 81st Legislature in 2009.
The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) was designated the state insect by the 74th Legislature in 1995.
The armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) was designated the state small mammal; the longhorn was designated the state large mammal; and the Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) was designated the state flying mammal by the 74th Legislature in 1995.
Western swing was named the state's official music by the 82nd Legislature in 2011.
State Musical Instrument
The guitar was named the state musical instrument by the 75th Legislature in 1997.
State Native Pepper
The chiltepin was named the native pepper of Texas by the 75th Legislature in 1997.
State Native Shrub
The Texas purple sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) was designated the state native shrub by the 79th Legislature in 2005.
The jalapeño pepper was designated the state pepper by the 74th Legislature in 1995.
Pecan pie was named the state pie by the 83rd Legislature in 2013.
|Prickly pear cactus.|
The prickly pear cactus was named the state plant by the 74th Legislature in 1995.
The four official state plays of Texas are The Lone Star, Texas, Beyond the Sundown, and Fandangle. They were designated by the 66th Legislature in 1979.
The Texas State Railroad was designated the state railroad by the 78th Legislature in 2003. It is a steam powered tourist excursion train that runs between the towns of Rusk and Palestine.
The Texas horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum) was named the state reptile by the 73rd Legislature in 1993.
The lightning whelk (Busycon perversum pulleyi) was named the official state seashell by the 70th Legislature in 1987. One of the few shells that open on the left side, the lightning whelk is named for its colored stripes. It is found on the Gulf Coast.
The battleship USS Texas was designated the state ship by the 74th Legislature in 1995. The USS Texas was launched on May 18, 1912, from Newport News, Va., and commissioned on March 12, 1914. In 1919, it became the first U.S. battleship to launch an aircraft, and in 1939 it received the first commercial radar in the U.S. Navy. It participated in both World Wars I and II. In 1940, the Texas was designated flagship of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. It was decommissioned on April 21, 1948, and is a National Historic Landmark and a National Mechanical Engineering Landmark. It is at the San Jacinto Battleground near Houston.
The cowboy boot was named the state shoe by the 80th Legislature in 2007.
The crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) was designated the official state shrub by the 75th Legislature in 1997.
Tortilla chips and salsa was designated the official state snack by the 78th Legislature in 2003 at the request of second-grade students in Mission.
Rodeo was named the state sport of Texas by the 75th Legislature in 1997.
Petrified palmwood, found in Texas principally in eastern counties near the Texas Gulf Coast, was designated the state stone by the 61st Legislature in 1969.
State Tall Ship
The Elissa was named the state tall ship by the 79th Legislature in 2005. The 1877 ship makes its home at the Texas Seaport Museum at the port of Galveston.
|Texas Bluebonnet Tartan.|
The Texas Bluebonnet Tartan was named the official state tartan by the 71st Texas Legislature in 1989.
The Texas sweet onion was designated the state vegetable by the 75th Legislature in 1997.
The chuck wagon was named the state vehicle by the 79th Legislature in 2005. Texas rancher Charles Goodnight is credited with inventing the chuck wagon to carry cowboys’ food and supplies on trail drives.
The Texas Roundup 10K, held each April in Austin, was named the state ten kilometer run by the 79th Legislature in 2005 to encourage Texans to exercise and incorporate physical activity into their daily lives.