Since I’ll be spending the next few weeks in Texas, and as I mentioned a few days ago, I will be writing stories about our visit here with family and friends, facts about this fabulously great state and what it means to be a Texan!
I have so far written about a song I was introduced to probably as early as the womb: The Yellow Rose Of Texas and must say I taught a thing or two to the wisers and even my mom, Ecky. I was touched and impressed they were impressed!
As you all know I LOVE TO GOOGLE, research and write about silly facts! So I decided to dig a little deeper and find more information about its symbols, i.e. the state flower, the state bird, etc… I came across a website that blew my mind called State Symbols USA – it covers all 50 States!!! You could spend a weekend reading all about us – how cool is that?!
Some facts are completely ridiculous but I cannot fault this website as each item on this list has been officilaly recognised as a symbol of Texas. So what are more silly facts? Well, the official cooking implement is a Dutch Oven (also shared with the States of Arkansas and Utah) and the official vehicle of Texas is the Chuck Wagon. Who knew?!!!
But one of the most infamous symbols of our states is the Texas Longhorn which is considered the state mammal! Known for their characteristic horns can extend up to 7 feet, tip to tip! This particular breed of cow is to be considered the most elite amongst its species and its gentetics can fetch up to (now on record) $170,000!!! Whoa down there Nelly!
However, our state tree is the beloved Pecan Tree and according to the Aggie-Horticuture website, is easy and may be planted all over the state, over 150 counties! There are at least 18 varieties of trees ranging from the highest in quality but low bearers called the Desirable or the Choctaw, scab resistance and high yields of large, high-quality pecans only requiring the highest quality of soil (sounds like someone I know – ME) and then there’s the Mohawk, great for climbing, however as it ages, nut production lowers in quality. And now I can’t resist giving you a perfect recipe for the ultimate Pecan Pie from none other than cutey-patooty, Tyler Florence – Pecan Pies with Sweet Tea Caramel Sauce! Be warned: Do not eat alone!
Our state bird is The Northern Mockingbird. Texas designated this mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) as the official state bird around 1927. It has the extraordinary vocal ability to sing up to 200 songs, including the songs from other birds around it, it can mimic surrounding insect and amphibian sounds, and sometimes an occasional mechanical noise, like a tractor! It is also the state bird of Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi.
Then there is of course, and my favourite state symbol, The Bluebonnet Flower. My mother used to pull over on the medians
between Austin and Houston, every Spring, and force all six kids to get out of the Suburban to take a photograph of us as a group then individual shots surrounded and submerged in a sea of purple! It’s a gorgeous flower and grows almost always near Indian Paintbrushes, another flower and just as lovely! And for the ultimate thrill, go to the Lady Bird Johnson’s Wildflower Center to explore and be inspired!
The State Song is Texas, Our Texas. I swear I thought it was The Eyes of Texas but that turned out to be the song for The University of Texas which is another story in its own right and something for much later in the week! However, Texas, Our Texas was written by William J Marsh in 1924, who comes from Liverpool, England. More history on the song, Click Texas, Our Texas.
And the two most important symbols, I think, are the State Flag of Texas and the derivation of the most famous nickname within the United States of America: The Lone Star State. According to Wikipedia,
The Texas flag is known as the “Lone Star Flag” (giving rise to the state’s nickname “The Lone Star State”). This flag was introduced to the Congress of the Republic of Texas on December 28, 1838, by Senator William H. Wharton. It was adopted on January 25, 1839 as the final national flag of the Republic of Texas.
When Texas became the 28th state of the Union on December 29, 1845, its national flag became the state flag. While the Lone Star remained the de facto state flag, from 1879 until 1933 there was no official state flag. All statutes not explicitly renewed were repealed under the Revised Civil Statutes of 1879, and since the statutes pertaining to the flag were not among those renewed, Texas was formally flagless until the passage of the 1933 Texas Flag Code. The official Pantone shades for the Texas flag are 193 (red) and 281 (dark blue). The flag, flown at homes and businesses statewide, is highly popular among Texans and is treated with a great degree of reverence and esteem within Texas.
And I love this one: The Nine Banded Armadillo. we used to catch them while we spotlighted at night looking for jack rabbits. It was great fun with my family!
According to the State Symbols USA website, there more than 40 symbols of the great state of Texas! So check the rest of them out here – State Symbols of USA.