Texans are very proud people. Mostly they are proud of the fact that, for a very short amount of time, Texas was its very own small country. Sometimes they forget the fact that they voluntarily gave up their independence to join the United States. Many a Texan will tell you that they are the only country that can fly their flag as high as the US flag. This is not true. While Texas is the only state that can claim such a distinction, it is not a country. Texans will also be quick to tell you that they are the only state that can secede from the Union. While it makes me happy that this claim does in fact acknowledge that Texas is only a part of a country that includes 49 other states and a handful of territories and commonwealths, this assertion is also untrue.
What Texans will not tell you is that although the United States was willing to go to war with Mexico to get California, the country was not equally willing to fight for Texas. They also get upset if you remind them that if Alaska were to be divided in half, Texas would become the third largest state in the country. I have not yet determined if this is because they don’t like being told that they are not the biggest, or if they are still quite certain that they are an independent nation and not merely another one of the 50 states. I frequently refer to a Texan’s confusion over sovereignty as Texas Nationalism.
I found yet another example of Texas Nationalism during the last week of school as I dutifully stood at my metal detector post and checked student backpacks for weapons. Textbooks were due, so the backpacks were a little more full than usual. I noticed that one student was carrying a blue book with a large Texas flag on the cover. This book piqued my curiosity. Since Texas History is taught in 7th grade, I could not imagine what high school subject this book was for. When this student handed me his backpack I checked said book for the title. Much to my chagrin the book was labeled Texas Algebra 2, as though Algebra is somehow different in Texas than it is in the rest of the world. Slightly irritated I more closely examined the textbooks in every backpack that I inspected. I discovered that the textbooks for each of the following subjects also have Texas in the title:
The only title I saw that did not include Texas was for Chemistry