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The State of Texas, the second largest behind Alaska and second most populous state behind California, was the 28th state to enter the Union on December 29, 1845. Six different flags have flown over Texas during eight changes of sovereignty, the sequence of which is as follows: Spanish (1519-1821); French (1685-1690); Mexican (1821-1836); Republic of Texas (1836-1845); Confederate States of America (1861-1865); United States (1845 to present).
Texas, or Tejas, was the Spanish pronunciation of a Caddo Indian word meaning "friends" or "allies", which is why the State Motto is "Friendship". Texas is called "The Lone Star State" because of the design of the state flag: a broad vertical blue stripe at left centered by a single white star, and at right, horizontal bars of white (top) and red. There are 254 counties in Texas, and the capital is in Austin (the fourth largest city). The three largest cities are Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas.
The State Flower is the iconic "bluebonnet"; the State Bird is the "Mockingbird", and the State Tree is the "Pecan Tree".
The Official State Song is "Texas, Our Teas".
Texas is diverse, with piney woods to the east, gulf coastal plains to the south, deserts and mountain ranges to the west, the hill country to the north of San Antonio in central Texas, and the north central rolling and great high plains to the far north.
The most visited tourist destination is, of course, "The Alamo".