Heritage, Volume 18, Number 1, Winter 2000 Page: 30
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A2<e 7if/ed/Bone S/ar
A Different Look For The Texas Flag
BY ROBERT MABERRY JR.,
Every Lone Star flag that is seen today
looks pretty much the same. Laws prescribe
its exact dimensions and proportions, and
the prim lone star stands upright and in
uniform proportion to the blue field it
This, however, had not always been
the case. For most of the state's history, Texans
preferred their lone stars to have a
rackish slant. Four of the six Lone Star
flags that still exist from the days of the
Republic have stars with upper point rotated
away from the vertical. During the
Civil War, Texans sometimes flew Lone
Star flags but more often unfurled Confederate
battle flags that had large lone stars
in the center representing Texas.
Of 25 flags from the Confederate era
that display lone stars, 20 stars are slanted.
Sometimes this led to confusion by those
not well-acquainted with Texas flags. In
Mexico slanted-star Texas flags are displayed
upside down with the red stripe on
top, because this position makes the star
look upright. The Northern artist of a famous
1861 engraving of the Alamo (shown
above) similarly depicts the Lone Star flag
upside down so that the star is in an upright
Texas individualism in the placement
of the star finally became too much for
some. In 1933, at the request of school
teachers from all across Texas, the Legislature
passed a bill, the sole purpose of which
was "to clarify the description of the Texas
flag, to standardize the star in the blue
field." The new law prescribed in great detail,
complete with complex geometric formulae,
exactly what the proportions of the
Lone Star flag would be. Henceforth the
lone star would always have the top point
positioned straight up. The major stated
reason the lawmakers saw fit to strap the
Texas flag into uniformity was "so pupils
in the lower grades of elementary school
will be able to draw or make the flag."
HERITAGE * 30 * WINTER 2000
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 18, Number 1, Winter 2000, periodical, Winter 2000; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45388/m1/30/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.