Saturday, January 27, 2007

Texas History 101

Here's another installation of local and state history! What do you think of when you hear "Six Flags Over Texas"? anyone?

Am I talking about the very fun amusement park we have in the DFW area? Home of my favorite roller coaster - the SHOCKWAVE. I can't tell you how many fun filled summer days of my youth were spent at 6 Flags. (not to mention scary rides and haunted houses that they have during Halloween) My sweet parents never gave us a hard time about the 30 minute drive to/from and even during our poorest times, there was always a $20 bill waiting for me to spend. Ahh... visions of "pink things" make my mouth water. (they are strawberry-ish ice cream things)

But no.... that is not the Six Flags Over Texas I am talking about.

What I actually mean are the 6 national flags that flew over Texas at different times of our history (hence the name). They are the flags of Spain, France, Mexico, Republic of Texas, Confederacy, and United States. The name "Texas" comes from the spanish word "Tejas" which means friend. Obviously, it's easy to see the Spanish and Mexican influence - both historical and contemporary. France tried to expand its rule from Louisiana but that didn't last terribly long. However, you can see some French influence in East Texas and we do have a French Consulate in Dallas.

It's the 10 yrs as a Republic though, that I think spawned a lot of Texan characteristics. The rugged, cowboyish "Texan first, American second" attitude you can see today. Believe me - I KNOW how brash and arrogant Texans can be. And honestly, I'm not proud of certain aspects of our history or personality traits. However, I like the confidence and the little bit of wildness we also maintain. It is a huge state of varied landscapes, with wide open sky and pioneer spirit. It's people can be obnoxious, but underneath most, is a good heart and friendly disposition. As an added bonus you totally get to say things like "ya'll" and "fixin' to"! We are proud of our state (though sometimes I don't know so if you ever get the chance to visit, do.

Put aside your preconceived notions and get to know the real Texas, warts and all. It's a huge complicated mess of interesting people and influences. Spanish, Mexican, French, German, Czech, Native American - we all have our little caveats of the land; trust me - you will find different types of Texans all over the state. In a single week (or 2-3) you can get a taste of the wild west, float down a lazy river, enjoy some Latin flair and cosmopolitan high life.

Awhile ago, we had a marketing slogan "Texas: It's like a whole other country". Even to me, a native Texan, this place can seem foreign. lol It can be frustrating but always interesting.hehe

More later...

** Disclaimer, the opinions stated above are strictly those of the blogger. Any resemblance to you or someone you know is purely coincidental. Also, any error in historical statements are a result of a faulty memory and laziness of said blogger (who wants to do alot of research on a Friday night?). And hey, please don't give me too hard a time if you don't agree =) hehe


Tracie B. said...

when i hear 6 flags i think of how i used to think that there were 6 flags people and there were astroworld people. now it's all the same!

Cynthia Rae said...

Thanks again for the phonecall! It was nice to hear your voice!

I never went to Six Flags. Being from Indiana means going to Cedar Point (in northen Ohio) or Kings Island (in southernish Ohio). Whats with Ohio and all those amusements parks?

Danilo and I would love to get to Texas one day....