Decommissioning of the Texas Flag

76th Legislative Session of the State of Texas - 1999
S.B. No. 483

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT relating to procedures for retirement of the Texas flag.


SECTION 1. The Texas Flag Code (Article 6139c, Revised
Statutes) is amended by adding Section 6 to read as follows:

Sec. 6. (a) A state flag, when it is no longer used or
useful as an emblem for display, should be destroyed, preferably by
burning, in a ceremony or other dignified way that emphasizes its
honor as a fitting emblem for this state.

(b) A retirement ceremony for a state flag should be
conducted with the honor and respect inherent in the traditions of
this state. While the state flag may be retired in a private
ceremony, it is encouraged that a retirement be a public ceremony
under the direction of uniformed personnel representing a state or
national military service or a patriotic society.

(c) During a retirement ceremony, a person in uniform should
render the military salute at the appropriate time as designated by
the ceremony. A non uniformed individual present should stand at
attention with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform,
an individual who is wearing a headdress that is easily removable
should remove the headdress with the right hand and hold the
headdress at the left shoulder, with the right hand over the heart.
An individual who is not a citizen of this state should stand at

(d) In a retirement ceremony in which the flag is to be
either burned or buried, the flag may be retired as a whole or the
colors of the flag may be separated for individual dedication, with
the separation taking place immediately before the retirement and
dedication ceremony.

(e) The official retirement ceremony for the state flag encouraged for public use is:

I am your Texas flag!
I was born January 25, 1839.
I am one of only two flags of an American state that has also served as the symbol of an independent nation--The Republic of Texas.
While you may honor me in retirement, the spirit I represent will never retire!
I represent the spirit of Texas--Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow!
I represent the bravery of the Alamo and the Victory at San Jacinto.
My spirit rode with the Texas Rangers in the streets of old El Paso and herding cattle through the Fort Worth stockyards. I have sailed up Galveston Bay. 
My colors are in the waters of the Red River and in the Bluebonnets of the Texas Hill Country.
You'll find my spirit at the Light House of Palo Duro and in the sands of Padre Island;
I am in the space station at Houston and atop the oil wells of West Texas.
From the expanse of the Big Bend to the Riverwalk of San Antone--all of Texas is my home!
I wave over the cotton and grain fields of the High Plains, and I am deep in the rich soil of the Rio Grande Valley.
I am proudly displayed under the Capitol Dome, and I fly high above the concrete canyons of downtown Dallas.
You'll find my spirit in the East Texas piney woods and along the Grandeur of the Rio Grande.
I represent Texas -- every Child, Woman, and Man!
The blue field in me stands for the valor of our ancestors in the battles for our country.
Let us retire the blue--Salute!
My white field stands for the purity in all our Texas hearts! It represents the honor that each of us should pay to our state each day.
Let us retire the white--Salute!
The red is for all of the men and women who have died in service of our state--whether as members of the
armed services or as citizen Samaritans.
Let us retire the red--Salute!
My lone, independent star is recognized worldwide because it represents ALL of Texas and stands for our unity as one for God, State, and Country.
Let us retire the lone star--Salute!
Join in the pledge to the Texas Flag:
"Honor the Texas Flag; I Pledge Allegiance to thee, Texas, One and Indivisible."

SECTION 2. Subsections (ff) and (gg), Section 3, Texas Flag Code (Article 6139c, Revised Statutes), are amended to read as follows:

(ff) [The state flag, when it is in such a condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.]

[(gg)] During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the state 10 flag or when the state flag is passing in a parade or in review, all individuals present except those in uniform should face the state flag and stand at attention with the right hand over the heart. Those present in uniform should render the military salute. When not in uniform, individuals who are wearing a headdress that is easily removeable should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, with the hand over the heart. Individuals who are not citizens of this state should stand at attention. The salute to the state flag in a moving column should be rendered at the moment the state flag passes.

SECTION 3. The importance of this legislation and the crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an emergency and an imperative public necessity that the constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended, and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its passage, and it is so enacted.

President of the Senate
Speaker of the House
Secretary of the Senate

I hereby certify that S.B. No. 483 passed the House, with amendment, on May 19, 1999, by the following vote: Yeas 143, Nays 0, two present not voting.

Chief Clerk of the House




Source -
Texas Legislature Online: The Texas Legislature Web Site

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