Staff Stance: Deep in Our Hearts

Texas Forever. This saying from “Friday Night Lights” accurately describes the state pride felt by all Texans. What other state has socks, shorts and sports bras with their state flag on it? What other state can claim the invention of hamburgers and margaritas? What other state produces 174 million results when you google “why is [insert state here] so awesome?”

The hamburger was created by Fletcher Davis during the 1880’s in Athens, Texas. You’re welcome, rest of America. In 1971, the margarita was invented by Mariano Martinez. His original machine is now in the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington D.C.

We’ve noticed that Texas has been getting a lot of attention in the news recently, and it’s not all good. When your baseball team loses in the World Series two years in a row and your football team has a not-so-hot record, we’re starting to feel pretty beat up. So we wanted to come out and defend our home state, as well as uncover why Texans (should) have so much pride for this great state.

In Texas, we get the best of both worlds. We are southern, but sophisticated. We have an accent, but (most of us) are not redneck. And we have a lively culture and community. We are surrounded by country music, and yet home to Austin, the Live Music Capital of the world. And we know they didn’t earn that title by only playing “hillbilly” country music. The best Tex-Mex restaurants are in Texas, but we also have plenty of restaurants for every palate. And our Tex-Mex has spread across the world, even to places like France, England and Japan. That’s definitely something to be proud of.

However, many stereotypes about Texas remain ingrained in the minds of many outside our expansive borders. We have all encountered questions like “do you ride a horse to school?” or “do you live on a farm?” First of all, don’t let them get to you. They’re just jealous, we promise.

Second, we’re here to set those rumors straight. Yes, there are farms and ranches in Texas. But no, not everyone lives on one. In fact, Texas has three of the top 10 most populated cities in the U.S.: Houston, Dallas and San Antonio.

Texas is also the only state that has been under six different flags, hence the name of the popular amusement park. These flags include Spain (twice), France and Mexico, as well as the current United States flag and the short-lived Confederate flag. Talk about a cultural mixing pot. The most famous flag, however, is the Republic of Texas. After existing as its own Republic for nine years, Texas joined the United States in 1845 “with the understanding it could pull out,” Governor Rick Perry said in an interview with the Huffington Post. However, the Huffington Post found in the Texas State Library that Texas would divide into four additional states if it wanted, but could not secede. Either way, we’re still a pretty powerful state in the grand scheme of things.

From an economic standpoint, Texas is a really nice place to live. Our economy by itself is ranked fifteenth largest in the world based on GDP. Fifteenth in the world! And in 2008, of all the jobs created in the United States, almost half were created just here in Texas. Not a bad place to be during a recession, huh?

But yes, it is true that everything is bigger (and better, if we may go that far) in Texas. From the world-famous Texas State Fair, to the Dallas Cowboys, who have often been called ‘America’s Team,’ to the iconic Friday night football, Texans maintain many famous traditions that we all love and couldn’t be more proud of. In what other state is it acceptable to literally deep fry everything (see: pickles, coke, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bubble gum… How they accomplished that last one is still a mystery to us).

Not to mention the size. New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois could all fit inside the great state of Texas. Or 220 Rhode Islands. Your choice.

And hey, remember that time the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA Championship?

So next time some Northerner asks you a stereotypical question about “redneck” Texas, stand up tall and explain to them why “y’all” are proud of Texas. And continue wearing those Texas flag shorts with pride, because Texas deserves it.

-Megan