The State Flag of Texas!
Why was the state flag of Texas created? The official state flag of Texas, the "Lone Star Flag,” was adopted by the Congress of the Republic of Texas on January 25, 1839, and remains the endorsed flag today. Originally, this flag flew over the Republic of Texas, before Texas joined the United States on December 29, 1845. Because of Texas’ one-time status as an independent country, the Texas flag is the only one of the 50 state flags that can be flown at the same height as the U.S. flag. The colors of the flag were also stipulated as being "Old Glory Red" and "Old Glory Blue,” the same colors found in the flag of the United States. The red, white, and blue of the state flag of Texas represent bravery, purity and loyalty.
The pledge of allegiance to the Texas state flag is: "Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible." There was much discussion about placing the phrase “one state under God” in the actual pledge. But God has impacted Texas greatly, and many felt that His Name should be in the pledge. To settle any question, the pledge was amended by House Bill 1034 during the 80th Legislature with the addition of "one state under God." The revised wording became effective on June 15, 2007.
The actual designer of the Texas flag is uncertain. But, many believe that is was designed by Senator William H. Wharton, and was based on the sketching’s of Joanna Troutman, Sara Dodson, Charles Bellinger Stewart, and Peter Krag, in Montgomery County. The flag represents the independence and sovereignty of the Great State of Texas with gratitude to God for His provisions.
Besides designing the flag, the Christian testimony of William H. Wharton in Texas History cannot be overstated. Born in Virginia in 1802, he was orphaned as a child, and raised by his uncle in Tennessee. Wharton was graduated with the first class from the University of Nashville and was admitted to the bar in 1826. By December 1827, Wharton was in Texas and he married Sarah Ann Groce. They had one child, John Austin Wharton, and established Eagle Island Plantation in what is now Wharton County.
The leaders of Texas recognized the remarkable qualities of statesmanship that Wharton possessed, and he became a key figure in the battle for independence from Mexico. While Stephen F. Austin was slower to demand independence, Wharton led the fight to separate from Mexico as soon as possible. It was Wharton who wrote the petition to Mexico explaining why Texas Independence was desired. This amazing document has become a political classic in Texas.
While Wharton was interested in all of the needs of Texas, he was especially concerned with freedom of religion, and the ability of Texans to worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Here is a brief quote from the petition Wharton wrote to the Government of Mexico. At this point in the lengthy document, he is protesting the overbearing decrees Mexico had placed upon the Texans: “It is specially declared that the Roman Catholic religion is, and forever shall be, the established religion of the land. No other is tolerated, and no one can be a citizen without professing it. Can any people be capable of self-government--can they know anything about republicanism, who will, in this enlightened age endeavor to erect the military over the civil--to bind the conscience in chains, and to enforce an absolute subscription to the dogmas of any religious sect--but more especially of that sect, which has waged an unceasing warfare against liberty, whenever the ignorance and superstition of mankind have given it a foothold?”
Wharton then wrote: “All men have a right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences. The monster centralism should be crushed!” To Wharton, the flag represented this struggle for liberty. The Texas Declaration of Independence clearly states that God exists, and that we should be able to worship Him without dominance or interference from the government.
The Texas Constitution was based on Wharton’s petition and reads: Article 1 - BILL OF RIGHTS - Section 6 - FREEDOM OF WORSHIP - "All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences. No man shall be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent. No human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious society or mode of worship. But it shall be the duty of the Legislature to pass such laws as may be necessary to protect equally every religious denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of public worship."
The Lone Star Flag stands for religious freedom. Never forget that!