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What Is the History of the State Seal of Texas?

By Marlene Garcia
Updated May 17, 2024
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The basic design of the state seal of Texas remains similar to one designed in 1836, when Texas gained independence from Mexico. A star with five points represents the dominant feature and the primary focus on the seal. In addition to the star, olive branches and oak branches flank the bottom of the state seal. Historians believe these components may have come from the Mexican seal used at one time.

The two branches on the state seal of Texas appear similar, but close examination shows tiny olives on one twig and acorns on the other. The olive branch represents peace, while the oak branch stands for strength and willingness to defend the state. The symbols of peace and strength were added to the original seal in 1839.

Before Texas became the 28th state in 1845, the state seal of Texas was actually the republic seal. The word republic was removed and the word state added once statehood passed. Texas seceded from the United States in 1861 to join the confederate states, but was readmitted in 1870.

Even though there were very few revisions to the state seal over more than a century, several different designs were used by various state offices. It was not until 1992 that legislators adopted an official seal, created by Juan Vega. All government departments were instructed to use the adopted seal on official documents.

The state seal of Texas also contains a decorative emblem, approved in 1961, on its reverse side. This design depicts the six flags that flew over the state throughout history by displaying them on a shield. The five-pointed star appears above the shield, along with the words, “Remember the Alamo.” A second banner at the bottom of the shield proclaims, “Texas, One and Indivisible.” This addition to the state seal of Texas is purely decorative and not used for official business.

The battle at Alamo killed all Texans involved and continued for two weeks in 1836. Among the victims were David Crockett and Jim Bowie. A later skirmish resulted in the deaths of Texans at the town of Goliad, prompting the use of “Remember the Alamo,” and “Remember Goliad” as battle slogans.

The state motto of Texas is friendship, and its state food is chili. Texans also adopted a state bread, a state fabric, and a state snack. Camp bread, a simple staple of early settlers made over an open fire in a Dutch oven, represents the state bread. Elementary school children suggested tortilla chips and salsa as the state snack. A history of cotton farming led to cotton being named the state fabric.

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