Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Texas LoneStar

TEXAS is the only state that was a Republic before joining the Union. It is the second largest state in land mass and the third largest in population. It occupies approximately seven percent of the total land and water areas of the United States.. Now, that is a mighty big.

Texas owes its name to the Caddo tribe - and the Spaniards. During the Spanish exploration of Texas in the 1540s, the Spaniards met the Hasnai Caddo tribe in present-day East Texas. the Native Americans used the word tayshas for "friends" or "allies." In Spanish, the translation came out as tejas. Eventually, Tejas became Texas.

Texas is also known as the Lone Star State, in reference to the state flag. The flag displays a single, five-point white star on a field of blue with an upper white horizontal stripe and a lower red horizontal stripe. Texas declared independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836, to become the Republic of Texas. Texas was admitted to the Union on December 29, 1845, as the 28th state. Texas state government is divided into executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The governor is the chief executive of the state and is elected for a four-year term of office.

State Tree - Pecan, adopted in 1919
State Flower - Bluebonnet, adopted in 1901
State Bird - Mockingbird, adopted in 1927
State Motto - Friendship, adopted in 1930
State Insect - Monarch Butterfly
State Stone - Petrified palmwood, adopted in 1969
State Gem - Texas blue topaz, adopted in 1969
State Grass - Sideoats grama, adopted in 1971
State Dish - Chili, adopted in 1977
State Fish - Guadalupe bass, adopted in 1989
State Folk Dance - Square dance, adopted in 1991
State Fruit - Texas red grapefruit, adopted in 1993
State Seashell - Lightning whelk, adopted in 1987
State Song - Texas, Our Texas, adopted in 1929
Unofficial State Song - They Eyes of Texas are Upon You