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What are the six flags that have flown over Texas?

Dear Cecil:

I've been plagued with a problem for years. With the coming of the Internet I thought I might be spared the anger and bitterness, but no answer has yet been found. Please help. What are the six flags of amusement-park fame that have flown over Texas?

David Sauerwein, Durham, New Hampshire

Illustration by Slug Signorino

Cecil replies:

You know, Dave, a shrink would have you in therapy for years trying to work this out. Me, I’m not even going to fill a whole column. Here are the six flags: France. Robert Cavelier, Lord de La Salle, established a colony at Matagorda Bay on the gulf coast in 1685. This was a bit of a fiasco–by 1688 everyone, including La Salle, had been killed or captured. But Bob had been authorized by Louis XIV of France, and one presumes he brought a flag with him. Spain. Spain had established effective control over Texas by the early 1700s with its HQ in San Antonio. Mexico. Mexico, including Texas, became independent of Spain in 1821. Republic of Texas. Texans declared independence in 1836. Alamo, Sam Houston, etc. United States of America. Annexed in 1845. Confederate States of America. Seceded from U.S. in 1861. Unfortunate events ensued. Readmitted in 1869.

Count ’em, six flags. But then a nagging thought: what about Six Flags Over Mid-America near St. Louis? What are they including, that 1944 St. Louis Browns pennant? But one suspects the truth is Two Flags Over Mid-America didn’t have the same ring. For the record, the nice lady in St. Louis informs me that the six Mid-America flags are Spain, Britain, France, USA, Missouri, and Illinois. Spain, Britain, and Missouri are a stretch, but Illinois? I don’t think so. To forestall embarrassing inquiries the park was recently given the unobjectionable (because meaningless) name Six Flags St. Louis.

Cecil Adams

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