Lone Star

Bernie Taupin, Lone Star, courtesy of the Russell Collection Austin, Texas

Bernie Taupin, Lone Star, courtesy of the Russell Collection Austin, Texas

I’m a true Texan and therefore duty bound to soliloquize at length about this great state.

The United States is a good bunch and we get along with ’em right fine. But we are a former nation emeritus and as such are afforded special rights and privileges such as self-possessed gradiosity. If you drive along our highways, you’ll see road signs that warn we are not to be messed with.

Go ahead and fly into Austin’s airport. You will see the Stars and Stripes rippling in the breeze but sidled up right next to it a large Texas flag also waves its welcome. Our capital building is taller than the U.S.’s. Yes everything is bigger in Texas – including egos.

We wear our state flag, spinning tall-tales of Texas Mythology as big and wide as the Rio Grande. Even our cowboys are cosmic. We make ice cubes for tea in the shape of Texas. And silver replicas of the state dangle from our ears. Texas history is a  yearlong subject for fourth graders.

Bernie Taupin got it spot on my friends, see that little strip of stripes up there. That’s about the amount of effort we put into worrying about the United States.

We’ve got oil, cattle, energy and technology incubators to think of. We’re creating jobs and farming wind. We fought at the Alamo for god’s sake, spilled blood for independence from Mexico. That fierce individualism does not pass from the collective subconscious. It slow roasts in our barbecue, simmers in chili pots.

Anything can still happen in Texas. Where land is cheap and roads are long. We recently took a roadtrip with the kids. Lots of driving through Texas. I thought. . .

The sun is up, the sun is set, and I ain’t out of Texas yet.

8 Comments on “Lone Star”

  1. SigO says:

    Okay, since we’re hitched together in more than one way, I’ll say my part. When I was younger, I bought the Texas nationalism hook, line and sinker. As a second generation graduate of THE University (of Texas), my folks made sure I was true blooded (even though I was born on US government property in a unmentioned non-Texas northern state).

    The family lore is as follows: My dad was relocated out of Texas when I was born but we moved back when I was under two years old and the good parents didn’t let my feet touch ground from birth until they crossed the border from Oklahoma into Texas. Then, on the side of the road, just past the “Welcome to Texas” sign, my parents stopped the car and let me crawl in the dirt. As a young adult, my first question was “why the heck did you drive through Oklahoma, don’t you know you’re supposed to drive around that god forsaken state?”


    In any event, the Texas nationalism in my family is strong, unbridled and irrational. Don’t get me wrong, I love home and Texas IS home, but there are many parts of this “Great State” that I don’t like and I think other states have plenty to be proud of too. As for my preference, weather and natural beauty seems to be the dominate factor for me these days, followed quickly by a libertarian/pragmatic liberal political population, so give me Central Coast/Northern California/Pacific Northwest for the win!!!



  2. SigO says:

    your blog deleted my two inserts… the first <> was to say

    “insert Hook ‘Em Horns here”

    and the second <> was to say

    “insert “you’re not a True Texan anyway, so of course you’d forsake the Great State of Texas”


  3. Art Fool says:

    I have driven an entire day and not gotten out of Texas. Love it! The stars at night are big and bright !!!! Deep in the heart.

  4. SigO says:

    I read a third party commentary on the Texan persona and though it was quickly written and posted only on a message board it was dead on. The post was in response to whether Texans are Southerners. The near unanimous response was “no, we’re Texans.” The basic premise is that the original Texans were American migrants, who wanted to escape US government control either for business, personal, philosophical and/or criminal reasons. They struck a deal with Mexico (Stephen F. Austin’s father) to inhabit land the Europeans considered uninhabitable (Texas) in exchange for no taxes, no regulation, essentially government free zone. Initially Mexico agreed, though subsequent leadership back tracked. Then the Alamo and San Jacinto. That’s the Texan persona, that’s what it means to be Texan. Migration is welcome, but divergence from the core principles – leave me alone, don’t “take” my money and if you do we’re gonna have a real problem – are not negotiable.

    Given I migrated here, I am a libertarian (Ron Paul 2012!) and have a fight, not flight response to conflict, I think I am true Texan. I just agree with the Europeans about the location, the heat is a bit much.

  5. SigO says:

    oh yeah, the flag is upside down, who is in dire distress, what life or property is in extreme danger? there MUST be more to this artist’s story or statement… I’ve got a few theories…

    Texas Government Code, Sec. 3100.053. ORIENTATION ON FLAGPOLE OR FLAGSTAFF. If the state flag is displayed on a flagpole or flagstaff, the white stripe should be at the top of the flag, except as a signal of dire distress in an instance of extreme danger to life or property.

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