WAR ENSIGN OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS
Texas is one of only two US states (the other being Hawaii) that existed as a sovereign nation before being admitted to the Union. Texas broke away from from Mexico in the independence war of 1835-36, establishing itself as a constitutional republic on the American model. Besides the territory of the present-day state of Texas, the republic claimed vast territories to the west and north, an area including parts of present-day New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming.
During its brief existence the Republic of Texas maintained a small naval force. Historians speak of two Texas navies. The first one, established during the independence war and comprising four schooners, was soon disbanded. A new naval force was formed in the late 1830s, eventually comprising some dozen sloops and schooners. Among them was the Zavala, the first steam-driven warship in North America.
The first Texas Navy flew an ensign with thirteen red and white stripes, and a square blue canton bearing a single large white star. When the second Texas Navy was established in 1838, the ensign was modified to the design shown above, combining design elements of the famous Lone Star Flag of Texas and the US Stars and Stripes.