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What does the single lone star represent?

What does the single lone star represent?

The single lone star is one of the most iconic symbols of the state of Texas. It appears on the Texas state flag and represents Texas’ former status as an independent republic. But what exactly does this lone star represent and why was it chosen to symbolize Texas?

The lone star has a long history dating back to the early 19th century when Texas was still part of Mexico. After Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821, American settlers began moving to Texas in large numbers. This immigration was initially encouraged by the Mexican government. However, tensions escalated as the American settlers outnumbered Mexicans in Texas and sought increased autonomy.

In 1835, Texans launched a revolution against Mexican rule. They created a provisional flag featuring a golden star on a blue background with the words “Texas” and “Constitution of 1836” around the star. This was one of the first uses of the lone star symbol. After Texas gained independence in 1836, the lone star flag became the new republic’s national flag.

Meaning Behind the Lone Star

The lone star flag was inspired by the 1810 “Come and Take It” flag of the Texas Revolution. It featured a cannon, a star, and the words “Come and Take It” as a taunt to the Mexican army. The lone star from this flag was carried over as a symbol of Texas’ independent spirit and defiance of Mexican authority.

The star represented Texas as a stand-alone republic and showed its aspirations to become the 28th state of the United States. The five points of the star symbolized the characteristics desired in a new nation – liberty, loyalty, equality, glory, and law.

Some accounts also suggest the lone star was chosen because Texas was the only state in the U.S. whose name began with the letter T. The star helped distinguish the Texas flag from other U.S. state flags.

Adoption as an Official State Symbol

After nine years as an independent nation, Texas agreed to join the United States in 1845. The lone star remained central to Texas’ identity and was incorporated into the state seal.

In 1933, the Texas legislature made the lone star flag the official state flag. The state seal was placed in the blue vertical bar on the left. The lone star continued to symbolize Texas as the 28th state admitted to the Union as well as its former sovereignty.

While the original 1836 lone star flag had a golden star, a variant with a white star emerged in the late 1830s. By the 1870s, the white lone star design became the dominant version and in 1993 was formalized in the Texas government code.

Version Star Color Year Introduced
Original design Gold 1836
White star variant White Late 1830s
Formal adoption White 1993

The Lone Star Beyond Texas

While strongly associated with Texas, the lone star symbol has also been adopted more widely in the United States. In the late 1800s, the lone star became a national emblem for the U.S. In the 20th century, the five branches of the U.S. military used the lone star in their seals.

Outside of Texas, the lone star is sometimes used to evoke broader symbolism of independence and singularity. For example, the slang term “lone star state” has been applied to other U.S. states like California, Maine, Michigan, Nevada and Alaska at various times.

Enduring Popularity

The lone star has tremendous popularity and resonance both within Texas and across America. It remains an iconic symbol that instantly evokes Texas’ history, identity and pride. Hundreds of businesses and organizations across the state incorporate the lone star in their names or logos.

Texas Independence Day celebrations on March 2 each year feature prominent lone star displays. The lone star flag flies alongside the American flag at homes and buildings across Texas as a symbol of solidarity.

While the origins go back to the Texas Revolution, the lone star continues to be reinterpreted. Recently, the #TexasLoneStar hashtag gained traction on social media as a sign of Texas pride and unity. The durability of the lone star image reflects the enduring mythos of Texas as a land of opportunity and rugged individualism.

More than just recalling history, the lone star sustains a sense of state solidarity and embodies the independent swagger of Texas. This single symbol has remarkable power to fire the imagination and conjure a distinctly Texan mystique. The lone star flag proudly proclaims Texas’ larger-than-life status as a place where big dreams, tall tales, and mythic heroes still live.


In summary, the lone star flag traces its origins to the Texas Revolution but has taken on wider resonance over time. The star represented Texas’ aspirations as an independent republic and later its identity as the 28th state. While first gold in color, the white lone star became the standard. Beyond Texas, the lone star symbolizes broader themes of independence and singularity. More than just history, the iconic lone star banner sustains state pride and individuality – defining what it means to be Texan.