It was always a mistake to ascribe the notorious Texas chauvinism, so misunderstood and laughed at in other parts of America, to the brief ten-year flying of the Lone Star flag. Neither the Republic nor the Confederacy nor even the Union totally captured the 19th-century Texas mind. Governments came and went; some hindered, some helped. Bur Texan patriotism was never based on concepts of government or on ideas. It grew out of the terrible struggle for the land. Significantly, Hispanic and European observers have continually called the true Texan — the descendant and inheritor of the frontier experience — the most “European” or territorial, of Americans. The Texan’s attitudes, his inherent chauvinism and the seeds of his belligerence, sprouted from his conscious effort to take and hold his land. It was the reaction of essentially civilized men and women thrown into new and harsh conditions, beset by enemies they despised. The closest 20th-century counterpart is the State of Israel, born in blood in another primordial land. [. . .]
The ceremonial flying of six flags — Spanish, French, Mexican, Texan, Confederate, and American — over modern Texas, so puzzling to visitors, is an almost conscious symbolism: flags change, the land remains. If the American Manhattanite has almost forgotten he lives on soil, has shed his history, and is shaped more by social pressures than a sense of territory, the Texan can never, even in his cities, forget or be free of the brooding immensity of his land. His national myths were more influenced by the Alamo and the burden of a century of a wild frontier than concepts conceived at Philadelphia. Tragically, next to memories of the struggle for freedom from Mexico are the smoldering memories of a long and losing struggle against the encroachments of culture from other regions of the United States. If the Texan became the most “European” of Americans, it was because in his history he has been both a conscious conqueror, and a member of a vanquished race.
— T. R. Fehrenbach, Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans.