Texas Flags

978-1-58544-151-8 Cloth
12 x 9.5. 224 pp. 29 b&w photos., 117 color illus., 4 color maps.
Pub Date: 12/10/2001
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2001 Ottis Lock Award for Best Book, presented by the East Texas Historical Association 2001 T.R. Fehrenbach Award, presented by Texas Historical Commission 2001 Award of Merit Runner-up for Best Book Published on Texas, presented by the Philosophical Society of Texas 2002 Ottis Lock Award, presented by the East Texas Historical Association 2002 Kate Broocks Bates Award for Historical Research, presented by the Texas Historical Association 2004 Certificate of Commendation, presented by the American Association for State and Local Preservation
The Lone Star State takes its name from the icon on its famous flag, a flag whose story adds a unique dimension to the dramatic history of Texas. This beautiful book dramatically portrays the significance of the red, white, and blue standard with its single five-point star, the visual distillation of more than a hundred years of history.

In the flag's early incarnations, homespun cotton, ladies’silk dresses, and various other goods provided the materials used for banners to lead Texans in battle and in nation-building. Historian Robert Maberry, Jr., skillfully traces the use of the lone star symbol in the nineteenth century and describes in detail the various flags that have either incorporated it or used other symbols altogether.

Texas’ now-famous flag, Maberry has discovered, was not always a common sight in the state. Though it had been the national flag during the last six years of the Republic (1839–45), the original lone star flag was discarded in favor of the Stars and Stripes upon annexation in 1845. Indeed, by 1860 few Texans knew what their former national standard had looked like. During the years of secession and Civil War, Texans became reacquainted with the old flag, but they made relatively few copies of it, using the lone star emblem instead on the battle flags of the various units. When officials of the Confederacy mandated new “national” flags, Texans often modified them to reflect their own independent heritage.

The Texas flags pictured and described in this book were historical objects often of considerable artistry and, in many cases, ingenuity on the part of their makers in times of scarcity. Some of these historic flags still exist and remain sources of inspiration. Their stories, and those of other banners that have long since disappeared, reveal much about the cultural and aesthetic preferences of the age in which they were fashioned and about the political winds in which they were unfurled.

Published by Texas A&M University Press