The Way Back: State Assembly

Alpha Phi Omega members battle the wind as they try to hold on to the Texas flag during the Texas Sesquicentennial celebration on Feb. 28, 1986.

In 1986, Texas celebrated itself in a fit of exuberance that lasted an entire year to mark the sesquicentennial, or the 150th anniversary of 59 delegates meeting at Washington-on-the-Brazos to declare independence from Mexico. In true Lone Star State fashion, everything was big. Larry Hagman, famous for playing J.R. Ewing on Dallas, narrated an eight-part miniseries on state history called Lone Star. Prince Charles stopped by Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, before cutting into a 90,000-pound cake—then billed, naturally, as the largest ever—at the Capitol in Austin. The Texas Wagon Train, a cadre of 40 horse-drawn carriages and 100 riders on horseback, lumbered across Texas for six months, making its way within 100 miles of every single town in the state.  

Not to be outdone, Alpha Phi Omega members unfurled an enormous Texas flag on Feb. 28 of that year, during the university’s Texas Sesquicentennial celebrations. Battling a fierce wind that day, the students held on strong, proudly ensuring that the flag stayed visible for all of campus to admire.    

Credit: Cactus yearbook


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