When I decided to come to Texas for school, I knew that I would be surrounded by Texans and their overwhelming sense of state pride, and I haven’t been wrong.The fact that Texas was its own country and that its citizens can vote every so many years whether they want to stay in the Union are among the many reasons I have been told that Texas is better than my state.
And I will admit that there is a lot of reasons that Texans should be proud.
Yet there is one “privilege” with which I have to disagree – that the Texas state flag is the only one that can be flown at the same height as the Stars and Stripes, which was, in fact, mentioned in the commentary written by Shannon Kelly Thursday. She wrote that Texas is the only state legally permitted to do so and that the rest of the 49 states must fly their respective state flags below the American flag, yet that idea is nowhere to be found in either the federal flag code or the Texas state flag code. (I am in no way attempting to attack Shannon directly because I don’t think she is the one that came up with this idea.)
No, I didn’t pull out my book of codes when I read the article, but ironically, I was sent a link to a Web site that debunks various e-mail stories that are commonly circulated and I came across the one that talked about the Texas flag. I don’t take everything I read as gospel truth, so I clicked on the links to where the codes were and sure enough there was nothing there to support this popularly touted claim. Nowhere in the Texas flag code does it say that the state flag must be allowed to fly at the same height as the American flag, nor does it say anything in the federal flag code prohibiting any other state from doing the same. As long as the other conditions outlined in the federal flag code are met (that the American flag is hoisted first and lowered last and nothing is placed above the American flag), any state is technically permitted to fly its flag at the same height as the Stars and Stripes.
So if this is the case, my question then is why is Texas the only state that chooses to assert this degree of audacity? Last time I checked, we were the 50 United States of America, not the 50 Independent States. For a state that is so proud of the sacrifices its statesmen made for freedom, what about the far greater sacrifices that thousands of men and women past and present have made on behalf of their country, not their individual states? These sacrifices are epitomized in our flag that we so proudly fly across our country and they should warrant enough respect and reverence that the Stars and Stripes would undoubtedly be flown above anything else, but I guess that is not the case.
All I can say is that I’m glad that when I go back home, every flag I see is flown at a respectable height.
Kaitlin Horan, sophomore