Educating the world about Texas one Yankee at at time.

Educating the world about Texas one Yankee at a time.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

This end up: Proper display of Texas flag, discussion of football coaches are complicated in spite of simple design

One of the most misunderstood things about Texas is our flag.

The Texas flag, for all its simplicity, somehow is complicated for some folks. I can’t tell you how many times I drive by a house that has our banner flying upside down.

The Texas flag is, like most state flags, rectangular and has a width to length ratio of two to three. It contains one blue vertical stripe that has a width equal to one-third the length of the flag; two equal horizontal stripes, the upper stripe white, the lower stripe red, each having a length equal to two-thirds the length of the flag. It has one white, regular five-pointed star located in the center of the blue stripe, oriented so that one point faces upward and sized so that the diameter of a circle passing through the five points of the star is equal to three-fourths the width of the blue stripe.

The red, white and blue of the Texas flag are the same shades and hues of the American flag. The colors represent bravery, purity and loyalty, respectively.

Now that’s a pretty detailed description of our flag and it is outlined thusly in Chapter 3100, Section 002 of the Texas Government Code.

Please note the part that says the white stripe is “upper” and the red stripe is “lower.” The star also has one point facing upward. Pretty clear instructions on which end is “up,” right?

Evidently, not.

One of the first things Texas school children learn well before their seventh grade Texas history classes is which end points heavenward with regard to our flag. And yet…oh my…

This is where I have to stop writing and take a deep breath so that I don’t scream.

For me, the whole flag display debacle ranks right down there with Jimmy Jones’ ownership of the Dallas Cowboys and that terrible and tacky way he treated Tom Landry, the last of the professional football “gentleman” coaches.

I can’t even speak Jones’ name without hissing and spitting. But that’s a topic for another column on another day, in which I’ll tell y’all about the very heated conversation I had with ESPN blogger, Jeff Pearlman, about his book on the Cowboys entitled Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty, and our rather loud disagreement about how Coach Landry was handled.

Come to think of it, I cannot speak Pearlman’s name without spitting, either. And wanting to wash my mouth out with soap. I am not a follower of football, professional or otherwise, but I will not broker bad press about Saint Tom, and I told Pearlman exactly that before I told him where else he was welcome to go.

Y’all…I confess that I was, in that moment, not a lady…but Mr. Pearlman was not a gentleman.

Back to our flag…

Section 3100.059 of the code states that if the flag is displayed vertically, the blue stripe should be above the white and red stripes and the white stripe should be, from the perspective of an observer, to the left of the red stripe. For more information about the Texas flag and its proper display, go to www.tsl.state.tx.us/ref/abouttx/flagcode.html.

If y’all got nothing else out of this week’s column other than a tangent about my complete distaste for Jerry Jones--and those of his ilk--remember this: when it comes to flying the Texas flag, the white stripe tops the red stripe. Red stripe up means you are in distress and need assistance. So if you don’t want me standing on your front porch, beating on your door while dialing 9-1-1, display the Texas flag correctly, please…especially if you’re a Texan.

As for Tom Landry, not a single Cowboys coach after him has even come remotely close to touching his 270-178-6 record with the team, even if Jones would show some real leadership skills by backing off and letting them do what he hired them to do.

Landry was surpassed only by Don Shula who finished his career with the Miami Dolphins and George Halas of the Chicago Bears. In spite of the disgraceful way he was shown the door by Jones, Landry ended his career as the National Football League’s third “winningest” coach of all time.

Landry was a class act in everything he did, from the way he dressed to the way he handled people. With Landry as the head coach, the players were expected to exemplify a higher standard of personal conduct, both on and off the field. They didn’t always, but the expectation was there.

It is said that Landry refused to keep up with the times, but I disagree. I think the times—and the people in them—couldn’t measure up to him.

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