There have been six different flags flown by six different nations that claimed the land of Texas. They are:
- Spain (1519-1685; 1690-1821)
- France (1685-1690)
- Mexico (1821-1836)
- Republic of Texas (1836-1845)
- Confederate States of America (1861-1865)
- United States of America (1845-1861; 1865- )
Spanish explorer Alonso Álvarez de Pineda was the first European to map out the area surrounding the Gulf Coast – including parts of Texas. The first Europeans to explore the land occurred nine years later. After being shipwrecked, Spanish explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and his men were reportedly the first European in Texas.
Other European powers ignored the area until René Robert Cavelier de La Salle created a short-lived French colony. He had miscalculated his location and established Fort Saint Louis at Matagorda Bay instead of along the Mississippi River. The colony lasted a few years before the harsh conditions and hostile tribes destroyed it.
After the Louisiana Purchase, settlers began settling in Texas. In 1821, Mexico was victorious in their war against Spain for Independence. The Texas territory became part of Mexico. The United States attempted to purchase Texas and were denied. Texas eventually won its independence from Mexico in 1832 and became the Republic of Texas.
On December 29, 1845, Congress admitted Texas as the 28th state. Upon hearing of Texas’s annexation, Mexico broke off diplomatic relations with the U.S. It set off a chain of events that ended with the Mexican-American War in 1846. The war would end two years later with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidago in which the U.S. was given undisputed control of Texas in exchange for $18,250,000.
As a slave state, Texas seceded during the Civil War on February 1, 1881 and joined the Confederate States of America on March 2, 1861. Congress would later restore Texas to the Union on March 30, 1870.