Tuesday, March 2, 2010

You Know You're a Texan If

Magnet # 182: A Texan's Map of the U.S.

Material: Acrylic

Purchased By: Me

Yep, you know you're a Texan if you take a look at this slightly insulting magnet and laugh - or maybe you just have a good sense of humor. I have to admit, this is a favorite of mine. I even bought it myself at a time when I was mostly letting my parents amass all of my magnets. I think I had seen the image before and regretted not getting it, so when I found it at the Gaylord hotel on a trip back home, I had to add it to my collection. The funny part is, when I was in elementary school, if I saw a map of the United States that wasn't divided into states, this is just about what I would think the size of Texas was. Yep, Texas has pretty much always been larger than life to me.

I thought this would be appropriate to post today because it's the anniversary of the day in 1836 when the Republic of Texas was officially formed. It claimed, though never actually controlled, lands as far north as what would eventually become Wyoming. The country existed for about a decade before Texas officially gained statehood. During that time, they experienced troubles such as having no money, conflicts with the Indians, and continued fighting with Mexico. However, settlers flooded into the area, greatly increasing the size of the population. The Republic split into two factions - those that wanted to maintain Texas' independence and expand to its size, and those who wanted to join it with the United States. Obviously, over time the latter prevailed, and Texas became the 28th state, but it's always maintained a sense of pride in its former status. Texas and Hawaii are the only two states that have ever been recognized as independent countries, and many Texans are incredibly proud of that fact.

Curiously, it's also Primary Day in Texas today, and the mood is apparently tense. Voters will choose between candidates for state and federal representation, as well as that of the governor, for both Democrat and Republican parties. As many of you in the United States are aware, all around the country, many Americans who have never been politically active are coming out against the current political landscape. But in Texas, as with many matters, it's different. There, almost ever since they gained statehood, there has been talk of secession if Texans become dissatisfied with the President or the federal government. And, yes, they seceded along with the rest of the Confederate states during the Civil War, and eventually were re-admitted into the Union. But even now, there are some in the Lone Star State who are actively trying to achieve Texas independence. I remember the matter even receiving some national attention last year when the governor simply mentioned it in a speech. There is no provision in the Texas Constitution - current or original - for succession, but it does make its citizens subject only to the United States Constitution, not the President or Congress. And, in searching online, there certainly seems to be some sort of a movement underway in the state to attain independence. But, having family in this state, I'm pretty certain this is not a major political movement. After all, it's never come up at any of our family gatherings on either side. But it's interesting to learn that such sentiments exist. I guess it's further proof that you don't want to mess with Texas.

Like 'em or not, Texans have a more rugged, individualized mentality than nearly all citizens of other states in the country. They have a history of fighting for what they think is right and though they may not be actively fighting, that doesn't mean they won't start. I think this magnet does a pretty good job of capturing that spirit, that began in a large part on this day in 1836. Given they once had their own country, Texans still have a great deal of pride in their home, and many would call it the best state in the Union. So here's to the Texas spirit - long may it live and make the Lone Star State truly great.

2 comments:

  1. Yes, Texans are pround of their state. We like the fact that we do not feel obligated to do things the way every other state does. When they say it's illegal in every state BUT Texas... it warms our hearts!

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  2. Glad to see I'm not alone in my admiration for this great state!

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