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The Lone Star State takes its name from the icon on its famous flag, a flag whose story adds a unique dimension to the dramatic history of Texas. In the flag's early incarnations, homespun cotton, ladies' silk dresses, and various other goods provided the materials used for banners to lead Texans in battle and in nation-building. In Texas Flags, Robert Maberry, Jr., traces the use of the lone star symbol in the nineteenth century and describes in detail the various flags that have either incorporated it or used other symbols altogether. Texas' w-famous flag, Maberry has discovered, was t always a common sight in the state. Though it had been the national flag during the last six years of the Republic (1839-45), the original flag was discarded in favor of the Stars and Stripes upon annexation in 1845. Indeed, by 1860 few Texans knew what their former national standard had looked like. During the years of secession and Civil War, Texans became reacquainted with the old flag, but they made relatively few copies of it, using the lone star emblem instead on the battle flags of the various units. The Texas flags pictured and described in this book are historical objects that show considerable artistry and ingenuity on the part of their makers. Their stories, and those of other banners that have long since disappeared, reveal much about the cultural and aesthetic preferences of the age in which they were fashioned and about the political winds in which they were unfurled.
ROBERT MABERRY, JR., wrote this book as guest curator for the exhibition Texas Flags: 1836-1945 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. He has also served as the director of the Historical Flags of Texas Project, a conservation effort sponsored by the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission. He lives in Fort Worth, Texas.