The Story Of The Six Flags Of Texas


Texas State Capitol Dome and Flags. (Bo Zaunders/Getty Images)

With nearly 30 parks across North America, Six Flags Theme Parks is one of the most popular amusement park destinations for those looking for summer fun, but have you ever wondered exactly which six flags they are? The original park, located in Arlington, Texas, was opened in 1961 by businessman Angus Wynne, who was inspired to build his own theme park after visiting California's famed Disneyland. A proud Texan, he named the park for the six different flags that have flown over the Lone Star State during its long history.


The first flag to fly over Texas was the Spanish flag, as Spain began colonizing Texas as far back as 1519. In fact, not one but three different Spanish flags flew over Texas during its rule from the 1500s to the early 1800s, as Spain itself underwent a lot of political and cultural change over the centuries..  

Drawing of the Alamo Mission in San Antonio. (Unknown author/Wikimedia Commons)


Spain's rule was interrupted briefly in 1684, when the French began to colonize the Gulf Coast, establishing the Fort of St. Louis in 1685. Their run was short lived, however, as the Spaniards fought back against their encroachment and burned the fort in 1689. By the following year, Spanish rule had cemented itself across the vast region, but the French flag continued to fly over parts of modern-day Texas, as the Spanish sold its portion of Louisiana to the French in 1800, until France turned around and sold all of their land to the United States when Thomas Jefferson expanded the nation greatly through the Louisiana Purchase.


Only a few years later, northern Texas was sold to Mexico, who laid claim to most of the southern territory by 1821, when it won its independence from Spain. When Mexico abolished slavery in 1830, however, many in Texas began to revolt, famously leading to a 13-day siege at the Alamo Mission in San Antonio between Mexican General Santa Anna and Texan belligerents, resulting in a massive loss of life on the Texan side that the state really doesn't want anyone to ever forget.

Band performing in Texas for Emancipation Day, 1900. (Grace Murray/Wikimedia Commons)


Texas eventually won their independence and waved the banner of the Republic of Texas from 1836 to 1845, when they were finally allowed to enter the U.S. as a slave state.

United States And Confederate

Unsurprisingly, when the United States also looked like it was about to outlaw slavery thanks to the election of Abraham Lincoln, the state again cut ties with its country and joined the Confederate States of America. Texans by and large fought alongside the Confederates during the Civil War, but after the Union's victory, the American flag once again flew its stars and stripes across the Lone Star State. Interestingly, though the Civil War came to a close on April 9, 1865, subjecting the Southern states to the abolition of slavery as dictated by the Emancipation Proclamation passed years earlier, it seems Texas was the last to hear of it. Federal troops finally reached Galveston in June, and celebrations broke out among the newly freed people, marking June 19 as a day of jubilation celebrated today as Juneteenth.

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