Symbols | World
Books | Store | Blog
About | Contact

Texas Symbols of the Arts

Texas has nearly a dozen official state symbols that might be considered symbols of the arts.

Flower Song Bluebonnets 1933
Music western swing 2011
Musical Instrument guitar 1997
Musician 2003
Tejano Music Hall of Fame Tejano Music Hall of Fame Museum, Alice 2001
Folk Dance square dance Redundant Symbol 1991
Plays The Lone Star, Texas, Beyond Sundown and Fandangle 1979
Epic Poem The Legend of Old Stone Ranch 1969
Caricature Artist Kid Cardona 1997
Artist (Two-Dimensional) 2003
Artist (Three-Dimensional) 2003
Texas: Music(Accordion: By Zero Gravity, CC BY-SA 3.0, link.)

Texas was the first state to adopt an official caricaturist, a designation later recognized by neighboring Oklahoma. (Texas’ Kid Cardona specializes in a Wild West theme.) Texas is the only state with an official two-dimensional and three-dimensional artist.

Texas’ official music and dance are western swing and the square dance. The square dance has ancient roots. It was popular in England in the 16th century. Western swing, on the other hand, didn’t appear until the early 20th century.

What else could Texas’ official instrument and flower song be but the guitar and “Bluebonnets”? However, the symbol that really grabbed my attention is the official Tejano music hall of fame (the Tejano Music Hall of Fame Museum in Alice).

Tejano music (aka Tex-Mex music) is a very popular genre in northern Mexico and the U.S. Southwest. However, most performers were traditionally men. When a Texan singer named Selena Quintanilla started her singing career, she met some resistance at first. However, her beautiful voice and sexy yet wholesome charisma rocketed her to fame as the Queen of Tejano. Tragically, she was killed at the age of 23, ending her career just when it was beginning to peak.

Yet Selena’s star continues to shine as new generations discover her vibrant music. I didn’t discover her myself until 2023 while working on a book about state symbols. Below are videos of some of my favorite songs.

Texas: Literary arts
Texas HomeState Symbols of the Arts Home