Ever wonder why those theme parks around the world are called “Six Flags”? Where are the flags? And why are there six? It’s a Texas Giant-sized conundrum for many, but not for many Texas natives. The story behind the Six Flags theme parks starts with a bit of Texas history, so gather around the campfire and here we go!
Texas as we know it may not be that old, but it has had plenty of sovereigns in its heyday. The Spanish conquered native tribes of Texas and flew their colors from 1519–1685 and 1690–1821. Most people don’t know, but between 1685–1690 the French had a brief stint of ruling over the Lone Star State. Texas became a part of Mexico when it gained independence from Spain in 1821, and flew the red, white and green Mexican flag from 1821–1836.
The battle cry of “Remember the Alamo” rallied Texas revolutionaries in the Texas fight for independence after the pivotal Battle of the Alamo in San Antonio. Soon after in 1836, the Lone Star State flew its own flag as the Republic of Texas until 1845 when it was inducted into the U.S. While Texas flew the U.S. flag until 1861, it was one of many states to attempt to secede into the Confederate States of America until 1865, when the Union won the Civil War and Texas once again flew the U.S. flag.
Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederacy and the U.S. – that’s six flags that flew over Texas. But what does that have to do with the Six Flags theme parks? Texas native and real estate developer Angus G. Wynne, Jr. was inspired to create a theme park after visiting Disneyland in California. With investors on hand, it took him a year to build the first Six Flags park, a 205-acre theme park in Arlington, Texas, a short drive between Dallas and Fort Worth. In August of 1961, the original Six Flags Over Texas theme park opened to the public.
When the flagship park opened in Arlington, there were six themed areas, each of which representing one of the six flags that flew over Texas. Over the years, the themed areas have merged so that today Mexico and Spain are combined in one section and France and the Old South (Confederacy) in another, while Texas and the U.S. have their own areas.
The six flags of Texas flew over the Six Flags Over Texas theme park for 56 years, until in 2017, when the flags of Mexico, Spain, France, the Confederacy and Texas Republic were taken down. The decision was sparked by a call across the nation for businesses to take down Confederate flags, which continue to symbolize racism and slavery in the South. The Six Flags theme parks decided to fly six American flags over the park from there on out.
While new sections have been added to the original Six Flags Over Texas theme park – including Gotham City and Boomtown – a little bit of Texas history remains in the name. This tidbit of history may not come up while you’re falling 200 feet down a rollercoaster at one of their theme parks, however it’s a bit of fun trivia to share as you wait in line for the next thrilling ride!
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.