“6 Flags Over Texas”: History, Rhetoric, and Deleting the Past

Teaching Texas History this semester has been a blast. Teaching is always an excellent way to learn, and teaching something from a different framework/reference point is also a way to learn. 

One thing we have talked about a few times relates to: What does “6 Flags Over Texas” mean? Who and what does it include and exclude? What is the rhetoric of this conceptualization of History? 


The concept of “six flags” and the choice of the “six flags” privileges a very certain White narrative of History – one that is also pro-Confederacy when we consider the cumulative total of who is and is not included. While Native American nations did not have “flags” (at least not as we think of them), they are excluded from this concept. The “six flags” conceptualization does not represent all of the nations that have controlled or had influence in Texas.

Additionally, when we recognize notions of borderlands and geopolitics, we know that parts of present-day Louisiana, New Mexico, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and Oklahoma were at one point officially or unofficially part of the area claimed to be “Texas.” These states and peoples are also excluded. 

Additionally, the Fredonia flag is excluded. The Fredonian Revolution was nothing more than a failed revolution. Labeling it a rebellion is to assert a form of imperialism and a “we won, you didn’t” imprint on History. 

The Flag of Fredonia

The Flag of Fredonia


The French flag is included and the French were never even that established in Texas. 

To be erased and written out of History is indeed a most horrible thing to do and feel. The geopolitical area presently called Texas should be proud to fully embrace its full history and all of its “flags.”

Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives

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6 replies

  1. Good points. For that, if we’re going to establish flags, then we might have to consider other failed rebellions, such as the Republic of Texas rebellion years ago — even though they used what we see as the current state flag, they used it rhetorically differently than we’re socialized to see the same shapes and banner. In other words, those men and women were imprisoned because of their allegiance to a minority opinion, but used the same rhetorical geometry as “we” do when the horses come out at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. If the rhetorical meaning changes but the fabric shapes and colors do not, then how can we look at the floor of the Capitol building neutrally and see only six flags, and not … seven? or eight?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Bruce. And who knows how many “rebellions” are forgotten to History. Flags are never neutral.

      When you talk about the Republic of Texas rebellion – how exactly are you arguing that it was failure? They got what they wanted and much more.


  2. Funny how some losers (Fredonia) are excluded from Texas’s historical narrative, while other losers (the Confederacy) are still remembered.

    Liked by 1 person


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