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Texas is the second-largest state in the US, but it’s famous for much more than that. For starters, it’s the origin of the cowboy culture we all know and love today.
Other than that, it’s the epicenter of country music and amazing barbeque. Because of that, people from all over the world visit the state every year.
Many of us refer to Texas as the Lone Star State. We’ve done this for so long that it can be a little tough to remember where the name comes from.
We know that the story has to do with the state gaining its independence from Mexico. Yet, the other details are a little more obscure.
At this point, you may wonder, why is Texas called the Lone Star State? If that’s the case, then our guide can help you out.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the origins of the nickname. We’ll also cover other names people use for Texas.
What Is Texas’s Nickname?
There are several nicknames for Texas. Each one has a unique origin and represents one or more aspects of the state.
In this section, we’ll cover some of the most notable titles for Texas.
1. Lone Star State
The most famous nickname for Texas is the Lone Star State. It comes from the flag that’s been a part of the area’s culture for a long time.
This can symbolize a few different meanings. For starters, the star stands for independence and freedom.
It was a way for Texans to show that they stand apart and they hold their heads high. Other than that, the star represents unity.
That way, the state shows off that all the citizens will stand together to ensure their home stays safe.
2. Jumbo State
We’ve all heard the saying “Everything is bigger in Texas” at one point or another. It’s one of the state’s most famous slogans.
This refers to everything from meal portions to kindness toward others. Texans pride themselves on generosity that you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumbo was the name of a circus elephant that was incredibly popular in the 1800s. Because of its size, the name became synonymous with gigantic.
So, to keep in theme with the state’s slogan, some people call it the Jumbo State.
3. Blizzard State
We all know how hot and humid Texas can be. So, the name Blizzard may seem a little off.
Yet, it fits perfectly with the area’s weather patterns. Some parts of the state experience harsh, sweeping windstorms.
In this case, a blizzard refers to the wind, not the snowy conditions.
Where Does Texas Get the Name “The Lone Star State”?
Texas has a rich history, filled with many twists and turns. To understand the meaning behind the nickname, we have to dive into the past.
The Start of Texas
The story starts in 1718, when Spanish missionaries made their way to the area we call Texas today.
There, they developed a new settlement called San Antonio. This was much to the dismay of the natives in the area.
The locals felt that the settlers were infringing on their property. Because of that, there was a lot of tension in the state, which kept the population low.
That would last until the Revolutionary War and the War of Mexican Independence. After that, US citizens were able to buy land in the area and call it their own.
This led to a dramatic decrease in people with Mexican heritage in Texas. The result was a lot of friction between the state and the Mexico City government.
That brings us to 1835.
The Texas Revolution
In 1835, the Mexican Army loaned a canon to Texans. This was to help them fight off aggressive tribes that were trying to take over the area.
A while later, the Mexican Army sent troops to recover their large caliber gun. That’s when Texans jumped into action.
About 18 men stood in resistance and refused to return the canon. They argued that it was their right under the Constitution of 1824.
Regardless, the Mexican Army was adamant about returning its property. So, the troops tried to find a way around the armed men.
That’s when 18 people turned to 180. Texans from all over the area joined in to guard the borrowed gun.
At this point, the Mexican Army and the Texan troops were at a stalemate. The sun had begun to set, and the area was incredibly foggy.
So, the two sides fell back and decided to wait for daybreak.
By the next morning, both groups met at the Gonzales River. There, a hasty Texan fired the first shot, which led to a bloody battle.
The fight would last until March 1836. At the end of the battle, Texans stood victorious.
That meant that the area would now be independent of the Mexican government. This marked the beginning of the Republic of Texas.
Since it was its own entity, separate from the US, the Republic needed a flag of its own. That’s how the iconic blue, red, and white design came about.
Texas Flag Symbolism
The Texas flag has been through a few different iterations in its lifetime. Each one of the designs was unique, with specific symbolism.
At first, the flag was a field of solid blue, with a large golden star in the middle. Yet, this design would only last a few years.
Another iteration consisted of 13 vertical stripes that alternate between red and white. Plus, there was one blue star in the center.
By 1839, the official design changed. This brings us to the final iteration of the flag. It had a blue perpendicular stripe that took up a third of the space. In the center of that, there was a single white star with five points.
Next to the blue, there were two horizontal stripes of the same length and breadth. The upper was white, and the lower was red.
Each color would represent a core characteristic of the Republic.
- Blue: Loyalty
- White: Purity and liberty
- Red: Courage
You’ll notice that these mirror the American flag. Since 1839, this is the only design that’s flown over Texas.
As you can tell, the flag styles are all quite different from each other. There’s only one element that stays the same across all the various designs.
Every iteration only had one star.
Why Is There Only One Star on the Texas Flag?
The early founders of the Republic of Texas chose to only include one star for a few reasons.
First up, it was a sign of solidarity with all the soldiers that lost their lives in the battle for independence.
Other than that, a star could symbolize a bright future. It was a way for Texans to express that they can reach for the stars and catch them if they try hard enough.
Finally, the single image represents unity. After the turbulent times, the citizens were looking for a sense of community.
So, the star signaled that they were all one for God, State, and Country.
The combination of these meanings gave Texans a strong sense of pride. Because of that, the area soon became synonymous with the single star.
That’s where the name “Lone Star” comes from.
What Are Lone Star Values?
Over the years, Lone Star became much more than a name for Texans. It represents a way of life and a set of principles that all citizens adopt.
So, when someone says they’re from the Lone Star State, they’re talking about more than location. It’s a way for them to identify themselves as honorable people.
In this section, we’ll go over some of the values associated with the Lone Star State.
Integrity is one of the most important qualities for a Lone Star citizen. If you think back to the founding of the state, you’ll notice that early Texans had strong moral principles.
On top of that, they valued honesty and hard work above all else.
The founders of Texas were willing to put their lives on the line to protect what they felt was right.
Plus, the state’s rural heritage played a major role in instilling integrity in citizens. Since the environment was rough, people had to rely on each other.
They needed to work together to survive and turn their home into a safe space for everyone to enjoy.
From the days of independence to modern times, the same spirit of determination lives on.
A man is only as good as his word. This has never been more true than in the Lone Star State.
Trust is one of the defining characteristics of Texans today. Since the early days of independence, loyalty has been fully ingrained in the state’s culture.
This is most likely due to the harsh, unforgiving environment they lived in. People needed to trust each other implicitly to ensure that they made it past the hard times.
That’s what allowed them to emerge victorious from the battle of independence.
Moving on, Texans take great pride in sticking to their word. So, most interpersonal relationships in the state are completely built on trust.
This created a harmonious environment where people can feel welcomed and safe.
Texans have a powerful sense of self-appreciation. You can clearly see that in their interactions with each other.
All the citizens in the area hold one another in high esteem. They treat people with dignity, regardless of their background or social standing.
This is apparent in the way Texans greet visitors. They’ll give a warm smile and a nice, firm handshake to welcome people to their neck of the woods.
Beyond that, Texans also exhibit a strong sense of dignity in their work. The citizens take a lot of pride in their jobs, no matter how menial or tough they may be.
Respect is one of the crucial pillars of any community. You can’t create a proper society without a healthy dose of thoughtfulness.
Thankfully, Texans have a deep appreciation for traditional values. That’s why respect is quickly instilled in them from an incredibly young age.
As soon as they say their first words, Texans will learn how to respect the people around them. You can see that in how they address their elders.
Besides that, citizens of the state believe that a little courtesy can go a long way. Because of that, they make sure to lead with respect in all aspects of their lives.
This includes personal relationships, business dealings, and even politics.
Honor isn’t something that’s given, it’s earned through hard work and perseverance. These are words that every citizen in the Lone Star State lives by.
Texans are extremely loyal to their friends, family, and community. They believe that it’s only right to stand by the people who care for you.
This is true even when supporting their loved ones isn’t easy or convenient.
Aside from that, Texans want to honor the memory of their ancestors. This comes from their long history of military service and self-sacrifice.
So, they’ll walk into any situation with unparalleled bravery and confidence.
Plus, Texans use honor to measure social standing. That’s why they’ll go to great lengths to protect it.
We can’t talk about Lone Star values without mentioning independence. Texans have spent most of their lives in the pursuit of freedom.
Since the early settlers made their way to the area, autonomy was a major goal for them. That’s what prompted the Texas Revolution.
While the war lasted several years and took many lives, Texans wouldn’t back down. They knew that it was better to live free, no matter the cost.
This is why they chose to include only one star in their flag. It’s a sign that regardless of what the world throws their way, Texans will stand tall, proud, and independent.
Why is Texas called the Lone Star State? The main reason behind the name is the state’s flag.
Since its independence, Texas has had a few different flags. While they looked a bit different, they had one element in common.
The designs all had a single star on them. This was to represent solidarity with fallen soldiers.
Plus, it was a way for Texans to show their unity. They are one for God, State, and Country.
Robert is a native Texan writer for TexasWalkabout, passionate about Texas culture and food, wearing cowboy boots daily. He interviews local pitmasters and chefs, tastes and reviews innovative dishes, and explores hidden gems and iconic landmarks. Graduating magna cum laude in Cyber Security from the University of Texas at San Antonio, Robert excels academically and professionally while also being knowledgeable in Texas history and culture. After living in Texas for over 28 years, he provides first-hand and trustworthy information for all your Texas needs!