The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955 Page: 472
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
facts are useful for judging popular fiction. They are much more
useful as explanation of what many Eastern commentators find
inexplicable-the fact that so many completely unabridged and
unbroken Texans have welcomed the so-called "dangers" of big
business. For a merely symbolic example of this apparent contra-
diction, consider the contradictory banners and unofficial insignia
of Texas units in the armed forces. Europeans never understood
and the armed forces had momentary difficulties with men who
sported the lone star without the slightest deviation in loyalty to
a flag of a more numerous constellation.
Because members of the armed forces were occasionally brought
to a somewhat exaggerated interpretation of these matters, this
is the point at which to mention provincialism as it relates to
Texas history and Texas folklore. The dangers of provincialism,
which are still real in Texas and in many other parts of the coun-
try, have diminished. Pearl Harbor diminished them. Nagasaki
diminished them. It may take the hydrogen bomb to vaporize
what remains. But in talking about local notions of human ex-
perience, local records of history-of those things worth remem-
bering-it is surely possible to insist that ideas like truth and
freedom, beauty and loyalty, goodness and greatness must find a
local habitation, name, story, song if they are to stay with us.
In 1878 John Morley said that "history threatens to degenerate
from a broad survey of great periods and movements of human
society into vast and countless accumulations of insignificant
facts, sterile knowledge, and frivolous antiquarianism." The
threat continues. Regional history and regional folklore will
always be threatened thus. The regional historian and the re-
gional folklorist must recognize the threat and keep us aware of
it too. By what they learn and by their judgments, wisely com-
municated to us readers, we may widen the perspective on our
own lives, live more fully in the present, and judge more wisely
for the future.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955, periodical, 1955; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101158/m1/565/: accessed August 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.