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 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.”