Hey kids, it’s time to play Know Your Texas State Symbols, the quiz that tests your knowledge of stuff declared official by Texas lawmakers because they had extra time on their hands after solving all our problems, lowering our taxes and bringing great honor upon our beloved state.
The official state bison herd is
A. A stuffed one someplace, probably at a mall
B. The one at Bicentennial Park in Baytown
C. The herd at Caprock Canyons State Park
D. Trick question — the last bison was killed years ago.
The official Texas bread is
C. Pan de Campo
D. Texas Toast
The official state cooking implement is
A. The chicken-fried steak fryer
B. Something at Whataburger
C. Cast iron Dutch oven
D. Microwave at 7-Eleven
The official state snack is
A. Tortilla chips
C. Tortilla chips and salsa
D. DQ Blizzard
The official state vehicle is
A. Ford F-150
B. Chevy Suburban
C. Chuck wagon
The official state cobbler is
The official state gun is
A. Colt .45
C. Any and all guns
D. None of the above.
If you answered C on all of the above you know your official state symbols, except on the final one. Turns out that’s a trick question. The correct answer is D. Texas has no official gun.
You’d think we’d have an official gun. In fact, you’d think the Legislature, at some point, would have proclaimed the gun as the official symbol of the great and well-armed state of Texas.
Alas, our lawmakers have somehow allowed us to get this far without designating an official gun. But now, thanks to Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, that oversight is en route to correction. Huffines has filed Senate Concurrent Resolution 8, a 592-word effort to, at long last, determine which of all the guns should be our official one.
We learn the answer in the first of the seven whereases: “Whereas, throughout the long and colorful history of Texas, the cannon has been an important weapon in the state’s fight for liberty and independence, as well as a symbol of the defiance and determination of its people.”
The subsequent whereases remind us that the cannon was the “it” in “Come and take it!” at the Battle of Gonzales during the Texas Revolution and that the Alamo had a bunch of cannons and that Austin innkeeper Angelina Eberly fired a cannon at Sixth and Congress in 1842 to protest loud music at a nearby club. (Nonsense. Eberly famously fired to protest a planned move of the Republic of Texas capital to Houston, a move that was foiled due to traffic on the Katy Freeway on Houston’s west side.)
“Vintage artillery pieces,” we’re told in the resolution, are displayed around the state.
The resolution notes that cannon fire “continues to be an honored tradition at celebrations and commemorations across Texas.” Singled out for mention is Smokey the Cannon, which “has been discharged at every University of Texas home football game in Austin at the kickoff and the end of each quarter” and when the Longhorns score.
Smokey is not discharged when Longhorn coaches are discharged, though some fans believe it should be discharged at the discharged coach.
“Whereas, these historic weapons serve as powerful reminders of our state’s epic struggle for freedom and they further highlight the unique heritage shared by all those who are proud to call Texas home, now, therefore, be it resolved that the 85th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby designate the cannon as the official state gun of Texas.”