Texas: The Stars and Bars in the Lone Star State

Dublin Core


Texas: The Stars and Bars in the Lone Star State


Texas played a significant role in the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, seceding from the Union in 1861. The state contributed troops and resources to the Southern cause, and its involvement in the conflict left a lasting impact on its history.

In Texas, Confederate memory is not shunned or permanently relegated to Civil War graveyards, but rather, it is openly celebrated as a rich part of Texan military history and Southern culture. After the Confederacy’s loss with the conclusion of the Civil War on April 9, 1865, groups of women under the United Daughters of the Confederacy (FDC) championed the erection of monuments honoring, preserving, and promoting the history of the Confederacy. Many of these monuments were erected during the post-Reconstruction era, particularly in the early to mid-20th century, as part of a broader effort to promote the "Lost Cause" narrative, which romanticizes the actions of the South, portraying Confederate leaders as honorable figures who fought bravely during the Civil War to secure Southern culture and independence from the North. The Confederacy’s desire to uphold this narrative of Southern culture led to the sanitization of its role in the enslavement of African Americans and its roots in white supremacy.

Texas, like many other states, grappled with the controversy surrounding Confederate monuments following the 2015 Charlottesville Church shooting. However, more recently, in 2020, the Black Lives Matter protests created a second wave of discussions about representation, memory, and the complexities of a past and history that serves a nation that no longer exists. Sites like Galveston and Texarkana became the source of controversy as debate raged over the question of what to do with their Confederate monuments. The presence of these statues and memorials standing in the eyesight of the state capitol building, on college campuses, in public parks, and in front of courthouses call into question how Texas has adhered to promoting the Confederacy in places of power and prestige. These sites reflect the broader national conversation on how communities address and contextualize historical symbols tied to the Confederacy.


Michael Westfall, Angelica Smith, Janae Scott, Raylene Castellano, Michael Danciu


Hist 402A Fall 2023



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