Texans love to remind people that we were once an independent republic. We throw that around a lot. People from California, Hawaii, and even Vermont like to push back that they too were once sovereign nations. But Texas is bigger. And we were an independent country for almost a decade. California didn’t last a month, though they did get that cool bear-flag from their republic days. Texas had its own flag as well. It was a single star on a field of blue. It’s the origin of the “Lone Star State” nickname. Our current flag still has the lone star to remind us of our days as an independent republic. Did I mention that we were once an independent republic?
I am not a Texan, but I’ve lived in Texas for the last two years. Even after two years, these Texans continue to surprise me. Last night at our city’s Fourth of July celebration, I was once again reminded that I am a stranger living in a strange land.
At the celebration, a military guard presented the flags so that we could pledge allegiance before we demonstrated our patriotism through witnessing a pyrotechnic display. This was all well and good.
I felt very American at that moment. I was standing in a minor-league baseball park with my children, looking upon Old Glory as we listened to a young lady belt out “The Star-Spangled Banner.” What could be more American than baseball parks, the flag, and a family dressed in red, white, and blue? I along with a few thousand compatriots pledged allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. But then things got weird.