by Marshall J. Doke, Jr.
The Texas Legislature set apart the entire week in which March the Second (Texas Independence Day) occurs to be known as “Texas Week.”
In earlier days, this week was celebrated by holidays, parades, proclamations, and other ceremonies all over Texas. The week and celebrations largely have been forgotten by our governors, other public officials, schools, businesses, clubs, and other groups. However, the law still exists as Article 6144a of the Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes.
Are we too mature, civilized, sophisticated, or politically correct to pause at recurring intervals to take inventory of our history and blessings and give thanks as grateful people should do? Do we risk losing the mystique of Texas through neglect?
Who is responsible for assuring that the spirit of Texas is not lost through the elapse of time and apathy? We all must nourish the Texas state of mind and culture that preserves our differences from other states.
Why are we different? James A. Michener, author of “TEXAS” perhaps said it best: “What makes Texans different is that Texans believe they are different.” God bless Texas!
Here is the still current Texas law.
Art. 6144a. TEXAS WEEK. Therefore, be it resolved, that the Senate of Texas, the House of Representatives concurring therein, does here and now approve this Resolution and set apart annually the entire week in which March the Second comes as a season to be known as Texas Week; and by this action of the Legislature His Excellency, the Governor of Texas, is hereby vested with the power and is besought to issue and to publish annually his proclamation outlining the purpose and the spirit of Texas Week and urging every citizen of this State to exalt and extol the highest and the best cultural and spiritual values of Texas throughout Texas Week; and
Be it further resolved, that it is now and ever shall be in direct violation of the purpose and spirit of Texas Week to observe it as a season of holidays; and the Legislature of the State of Texas does affirm that, under no condition, is Texas Week to be looked upon as a week of holidays; but on the other hand and quite to the contrary, it is hereby alleged that during Texas Week every citizen of this State is encouraged to work, insofar as he is able, and to do his work a bit better than he does it during other weeks of the year; and
Therefore, be it further resolved, that the Legislature by this Resolution does urge His Excellency, the Governor of Texas, to suggest to the citizens of this State in his annual proclamations that they observe the following forms of activity, and from time to time such other forms of observance that he may deem wise, insofar as his suggestions do not conflict with the purpose and spirit of Texas Week as outlined in this Resolution:
First, it is enjoined that every home; every office, place of business and industry; every school, parochial, private, or public; every college and university; and all institutions of whatever class or character, educational or eleemosynary, be requested through this Resolution and the annual proclamations of the Governor of Texas to hoist a Texas Flag from some prominent point of vantage and let it be unfurled each day during Texas Week; and
Second, it is now and ever shall be expected that all teachers and pupils in every school of whatever class or classification shall observe Texas Week appropriately in general assemblies, in classes, clubs, and in any and all other groups as they may be assembled for school work; that schools be encouraged to assemble exhibits of Texas products, pictures, relics, books and documents, and hang in permanent places pictures of famous heroes of Texas; that schools which are in reach of battle fields, missions, and other places of historical interest and importance are hereby encouraged to make patriotic pilgrimages to such places of fame during Texas Week; but it is understood that no school is to celebrate Texas Week as a season of holidays. On the other hand, better work shall be expected of all schools throughout Texas Week; and
Third, it is enjoined upon commerce and industry, professional life and activity, civic activity, and every other kind of occupational pursuit, in which Texas citizens may be engaged, that they recognize and observe Texas Week in a fitting manner. To this end it is recommended that courts in session, luncheon clubs, women’s organizations, churches, conventions, lodges, and the Legislature when in session, all departments of government, city, county, and State; and any and every other group of citizens for whatever purpose they may be assembled, be urged now and ever in the future to observe Texas Week appropriately by rendering programs in keeping with the purpose and spirit of this occasion as set forth in this Resolution; and
Fourth, that every citizen, old or young, within the borders of this great State be urged now and ever in the future, by this Act of the Legislature and in accordance with the proclamations of the Governor of Texas issued and published annually to be seen and read by all citizens of Texas, to exalt and extol the cultural and spiritual values which we cherish so fondly; the blessed and romantic traditions of our glorious history; the high standards and lofty ideals of statesmanship, of scholarship, of leadership, of character, and of service which our forefathers gave to us as our rare and rich heritage, and to give thanks for this marvelous inheritance as we faithfully and conscientiously observe Texas Week.