Texas was called the “Banner State” in the late 1800s because it voted largely Democratic at that time. “Banner state” means a state that “carries the banner” for any cause.
The Banner State: This nickname signifies a leading position, a front-runner, and probably originated from Texas’ political influence based on her large population. Charles Ledyard Norton wrote, in Political Americanisms, “The state, county, town or other political sub-division that give the largest vote for a party candidate is termed ‘the banner state.’...” Other states have been referred to as “Banner States,” but this nickname’s connection with Texas seems to have been more lasting.
18 December 1872, Atlanta Constitution, pg. 2:
So far Georgia is the banner State, and will probably remain so, as there is only Texas to hear from of the States which gave O’Conor any considerable vote.
19 April 1877,
I consider Texas the banner state in producing cheap beef.
31 October 1890, Washington Post, “The National System Making Great Progess in the Lone Star State” from American Banker, pg. 4:
The banner State is, of course, Texas, which has long lain fallow in banking matters, because the constitution is disabled from granting charters to bank organizations.
10 November 1894, Atlanta Constitution, pg. 4:
What in the world is the matter with the banner state of Texas?
15 August 1896, Washington Post, pg. 3:
Houston, Tex., Aug. 12.—In no State in the Union probably is the political situation so badly mixed as it is in Texas, the erstwhile banner State of the Democratic Party.
27 November 1896, Los Angeles Times, pg. 6:
To Texas belongs the doubtful honor of being the banner State of Popocracy. The plurality which it gave to Bryan was in the neighborhood of 200,000.
6 January 1898,
Texas is probably the banner State; it embraces five distinct conferences and parts of two or three others, and has an aggregate membership of about a quarter of a million souls.
8 October 1902, Christian Observer, pg. 1:
Texas is the banner State of the South for the liberality of her Presbyterians to the causes of their Church.
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Friday, October 13, 2006 • Permalink