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What Is the State Motto of Texas?

Esther Ejim
Updated: May 17, 2024

The state motto of Texas is “Friendship," which was derived from Tejas, a Spanish derivation of the name of a native Indian tribe — Caddo. Tejasliterally means "friends" and is also the source of the name “Texas.” The motto was officially adopted in February 1930 by the 41st Texas legislature. Unlike most states in the United States, the state motto of Texas is not featured on either the official seal or the flag.

Before "Friendship" became the official state motto of Texas, Remember the Alamo” served as the state's official motto from 1836 to 1845. This former state motto of Texas is displayed on the state seal. Texas revolutionaries cried out “Remember the Alamo” in the battle at San Jacinto, which was an important battle in Texan history.

The Texas state flag is composed of three colors: white, blue and red. The various colors have different symbolic meanings. The white stands for strength, the blue stands for loyalty, and the red represents bravery. This flag also has a single five-pointed white star. It is located at the left side of the flag, superimposed on the blue section. This single star is the source of one famous nickname for Texas, “The Lone Star State," which stands for the state's hard-won independence from Mexico.

Another nickname for Texas is “The Jumbo State,” which is a reference to Jumbo, the largest circus elephant to be transported to Texas by P.T. Barnum from London in 1882. Jumbo’s size soon became synonymous with big size in general. This was in addition to the size of the state of Texas itself, which was the largest state in the union. Texas is also known as “The Banner State,” which is a direct reference to its status as the frontrunner in achieving democracy by the late 1800s.

Texas has other official state symbols apart from the motto, seal and flag. Texas has three state mammals. The Texas longhorn is the large state mammal, the armadillo is the small state mammal, and the free-tailed bat is the flying state mammal. The state bird is the mockingbird, and the state flower is the bluebonnet. Additional state symbols include the state insect, which is the monarch butterfly, and the state reptile, which is the Texas horned lizard.

America Explained is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Esther Ejim
By Esther Ejim
Esther Ejim, a visionary leader and humanitarian, uses her writing to promote positive change. As the founder and executive director of a charitable organization, she actively encourages the well-being of vulnerable populations through her compelling storytelling. Esther's writing draws from her diverse leadership roles, business experiences, and educational background, helping her to create impactful content.
Discussion Comments
By Melonlity — On Apr 15, 2014

@Soulfox -- if you hang around Texas, you'll notice something else -- there are times when the state flag is larger than the United States flag in front of businesses and is sometimes flown higher.

Texans love their state. That may be one of the reasons there are so many unofficial nicknames and mottos for Texas.

By Soulfox — On Apr 14, 2014

One could argue that "don't mess with Texas" is an unofficial motto that is actually more popular than the official motto. Go hand around Texas for any amount of time and you'll see that phrase plastered frequently.

Esther Ejim
Esther Ejim
Esther Ejim, a visionary leader and humanitarian, uses her writing to promote positive change. As the founder and...
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