Thursday, March 02, 2006

Happy Texas Independence Day!

On this day in 1836 Texas unilaterally declared its independence from Mexico even as the Battle of the Alamo raged in San Antonio.

This is also the birthday of Sam Houston, the father of Texas independence.

When I was growing up this was a public holiday and we had no school. It is still a holiday for our state government.

As a college student at Frozen North Ivy League U, the small but hardy band of expat Texans gathered together to celebrate, bringing the Texas flags that we displayed in our dorm rooms. Our Texas accents made us stand out in the crowd--and usually not in a good way-- among the Yankee prep school types. This celebration was our way of asserting our pride in being Texans.

When Portia and Babs were in college out of state, I sent care packages of tamales, chili, hot sauce, refried beans and chips to Portia and Babs as they gathered to celebrate March 2 with their Texas friends. The Texas Independence Day celebration continues to be a tradition for expat college students.

Texas is the only state that was once an independent country. When it joined the union, it retained the right to divide into up to 5 different states. Some days we think that would have been a good idea--we'd have 10 Senators from Texas instead of only 2!

Texas pride was instilled in all of us growing up here. But I've never been more proud of being Texan, or a Houstonian, than in this past year when the state was the refuge of choice for so many fleeing Hurricane Katrina. Texas remains a haven and now a new home for a lot of these folks who have found jobs, new lives and a welcome here.

"God bless you, Texas
And keep you brave and strong.
That you might grow in power and worth
Throughout the ages long."
--from Texas Our Texas, the state song


Mary Beth said...

YEAH! Whoop! What she said!

My Dad was in a group of Texas Aggies (class of 1947) who stormed the President's office demanding to have a school holiday on this most important of days! (Kids are the same, always & forever!)

And as an Aggie one of the useful things I learned was ALL the words to Texas, Our Texas!

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

WE are a strange group of people! I love this State and I love what you have written.

God bless Texas and it's people!

Miranda said...

It's strang how important this place becomes when you move away from it. This day was always a day great celebration when I was in Seminary in Atlanta. Texans have state pride like no other state in the union. God love it!!!

We are also the only state that can fly our flag as high as the Stars-and-Strips because we also used to be our own country. All other states must fly there state flag lower.

will smama said...


Miranda: "Texans have state pride like no other state in the union."
Truer words have not been spoken.

SpookyRach said...

Yup. I was singin' along with the last paragraph. I too, know all the words to the state song. Good ol' seventh grade Texas history class!

reverendmother said...

Amen and yeehaw!!!!!

And Texas also has THE best flag.