1. Texas pride
It comes down to which war is more important. Across the southern states, it’s a simple matter to find folks proudly displaying Confederate flags. For them, there’s no question: the Civil War defines southern culture.
For Texas, however, it’s all about March 1836. We think more about the Alamo and Goliad that we do Fort Sumter. Texas flags adorn small towns and ranches. We learn our history side by side with American history and sometimes place more emphasis on the former.
Your stereotypical southern gentleman will approach someone who insulted him sporting a full double-breasted white suit and slap him across the face with a leather glove. If you dare to wrong a Texan, you’ll have until the count of three to draw your pistol…sometimes not even that.
3. Street and school names
Though there are plenty of exceptions, in general, Texas doesn’t have the same love affair with Confederate Generals as areas like Savannah and Charleston. While a lot of southern cities and towns name streets, schools, and public buildings after influential figures in the Confederacy — as one might expect — they aren’t even necessarily favorite sons of the respective states. Texas, on the other hand, tends to stick with its own in this area: LBJ Freeway in Dallas, Stephen F Austin government building in Austin, the name of the largest city itself, after Sam Houston.
4. Foreign influence
Though it doesn’t seem like it at face value, Texas is wildly diverse compared to almost any other southern state. Because we started as part of Mexico, Hispanic culture and influence permeates the Lone Star State, from its food to the millions of people. In addition, a huge number of German and Czech immigrants came to Texas decades ago. New Orleans may have its Creole and Miami those from Cuba, but no southern area has combined elements of so many other cultures more than the great state of Texas.
5. We’re urbanized
Even if you put all the major cities in the south together — Miami, Atlanta, New Orleans, Nashville — you wouldn’t come close to the population or size of Texas cities: Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, El Paso. No one has ever said, “Let’s go to Little Rock for the weekend!” Despite the rural small town stereotype, Texas is really built around its cities; the south is where you get lost in the Bayou or amongst pine trees.
6. Location, location, location
Geographically, Texas is the westernmost state in the Bible Belt. As a result, we’re part of the South, Southwest, and the Central United States. We were the last major state to join the Union prior to the start of the Civil War, and even Sam Houston, the former President of the Republic of Texas, argued against secession. We’re a part of the south, and yet we’re not. We’re not quite Americans. We’re simply Texans.
To those who aren’t aware, whorfianiam refers to the idea that the structure of a language affects the speaker’s perception and way of thinking about the world. In Texan, this holds particularly true, with our slow dialect almost going hand-in-hand with the old days of riding horses from town to town. Despite the increasing urbanization of our state, many of us still have that laid-back attitude of cattle ranchers.
8. All in the BBQ
Seems simple enough, but there’s a major difference between Texas, Kansas City, and North Carolina BBQ. Texas is cattle country, and always will be. As a result, our barbeque is centered around beef brisket. Everywhere else focuses on juicy pork. Regardless, we’re not always a safe haven for vegetarians.