Texas is often referred to as the Lone Star State. The state of Texas has flown the flag of six different nations and changed governments eight times. Texas was an independent nation before becoming a state.
The Spanish flew their flag over Texas from 1519 to 1685, followed by France from 1685 to 1690, Spain from 1690 to 1821, Mexico from 1821 to 1836, the Republic of Texas from 1836 to 1845, the United States from 1845 to 1861, Confederate States 1861 to 1865 and the United States from 1865 to today. The Republic of Texas became a state by treaty rather than territorial annexation.
The Texas state bird is the Mockingbird, the state tree is the pecan, the flower is the bluebonnet and motto is "Friendship." The only natural lake in Texas is Caddo Lake. Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth largest city in the U.S., as of 2015. Alaska is the only state in the U.S. bigger than Texas. More land is farmed in Texas than any other state.
The oldest state police force in the U.S. is the Texas Rangers, which has made both John Wayne and Chuck Norris honorary members. The world's first rodeo was held in Pecos, Texas on July 4, 1883.