Texas is known worldwide for its folksy, friendly, down-home country language. We believe that these 15 famous quotes will go down in history as the most iconic Texas quotes.
- “Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called ‘walking.’” — George W. Bush
In the closing speech at the Republican National Convention in 2004, the candidate up for renomination, President George W. Bush, announced “Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called ‘walking.’” The former 46th governor of Texas definitely got it right; Texans have a certain type of ‘swagger’ that sticks with them wherever they go, even to the White House!
- “You May All Go to Hell and I Will Go to Texas” — Davy Crockett
This quote truly epitomizes the spirit of Texas. When Davy Crockett ran for a seat in Congress from Tennessee in 1835, he proclaimed that if he lost, the people in his district “may go to hell and I will go to Texas.” Sure enough, after Crockett lost the election, he headed to Texas where he died a hero in the Battle of the Alamo.
- “I’ve traveled all over the world, but I don’t think there is any place better than Texas.” — Red Adair
It’s no coincidence that Texas ranks second in the country for the highest population. The 29 million Texas residents and the 7.2 million tourists from around the world who visit the state each year can certainly attest that Texas has a unique charm.
- “Football is to Texas what religion is to a priest.” — Tom Landry.
It’s no secret that Texians love football. So much so that they have two NFL teams, the Houston Texans, and the Dallas Cowboys. When it comes to college football, rivalries and competition are even more intense, with teams like the Texas Longhorns, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Tech, the Baylor Bears, and TCU just to name a few, all competing to be the best football powerhouse in the state.
- “I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox. But I think there will be little quarrel with my feeling that Texas is one thing. For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study and the passionate possession of all Texans.” — John Steinbeck, Author 1962.
Steinbeck described Texas precisely. Despite a tumultuous history under six different nations (Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America, and the United States of America), and an expansive space and diverse population, Texans have always remained united under the quest for freedom, liberty, and independence.
- “I thought I knew Texas pretty well, but I had no notion of its size until I campaigned it” — Former Governor Ann Richards
As the second largest state in the US in landmass, the state of Texas encompasses over 268m2. For reference, that’s twice as big as Japan or Germany and 10% bigger than France! If Texas were a country, it would rank 40th largest in land size. Texian residents like to live up to this distinction by wearing big boots, big belt buckles, and even bigger hairstyles, which has led to the saying that “Everything is bigger in Texas.”
- “If you’ve ever driven across Texas, you know how different one area of the state can be from another. Take El Paso. It looks as much like Dallas as I look like Jack Nicklaus” — Pro Golfer Lee Trevino.
From the edge of the Gulf of Mexico, to the Mountains of Guadalupe, and from the semitropical Lower Rio Grande Valley, to the High Plains of the Panhandle, Texas’s geography is certainly varied. Don’t be surprised if few miles outside a major city turns into complete wilderness!
- “Texas will again lift its head and stand among the nations. It ought to do so, for no country upon the globe can compare with it in natural advantages.” — Sam Houston, President of the Republic of Texas
This famous quote was said by Houston soon after a tumultuous war with Mexico, which resulted in the Republic of Texas emerging as a new nation in 1836. Despite a bloody and vicious revolutionary war, Texas was able to quickly spring into action, writing a democratic constitution, electing Sam Houston as the first president, and choosing Austin as its capital.
- “I worked around cattle all my life and I guess I learned all there is to know about it, and I think I can sum it all up in one thing: You can’t drink coffee on a running horse.” — Samuel Brenner
Known for its characteristic horns, which can extend up to 7 feet, the Texas Longhorn is a breed of cattle that serves as the official Texas State Large Mammal, an official symbol for Fort Worth as well as the mascot for the University of Texas at Austin.
- “I love Texas because Texas is future-oriented because Texans think anything is possible. Texans think big” — Senator Phil Gramm.
This is certainly true. Texans are famous for their ability to harness the natural resources of their state and transform them into booming industries. Texas is the largest producer of oil in the US, and in 2018, Texas produced the most oil ever, resulting in 1.59 billion barrels of oil! Texas is also the largest producer of wool, with more wool coming from Texas than any other state in the United States!
- Texas is neither southern nor western. Texas is Texas” — Senator William Blakley
This famous quote goes without saying. Texas doesn’t need to be labeled as a southern or western state; Texas is just Texas!
- “All new states are invested, more or less, by a class of noisy, second-rate men who are always in favor of rash and extreme measures, But Texas was absolutely overrun by such men.” — Sam Houston, President of the Republic of Texas
Texas culture certainly doesn’t consist of docility or meekness. For example, the slogan “Don’t mess with Texas” began as a statewide advertising campaign in 1986 to reduce littering on Texas roadways and quickly became a Texas cultural phenomenon. Another slogan, “Come and Take it!” was painted onto a flag and waived at Mexican soldiers who had come to get their cannon from the city of Goliad during Texas’s revolution in 1835. Now, it remains a symbol of Texan’s fierce spirit and unbreakable unity.
- “A born Texan has instilled in his system a mind-set of no retreat or no surrender. I wish everyone the world over had the dominating spirit that motivates Texans.” –Former Texas Speaker of the House Billy Clayton.
In 1835, a group of 180 volunteer Texas soldiers including Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett, battled against 600 members of the Mexican army and courageously held up the fort of Alamo for thirteen days before being overpowered and killed. Although the Battle of the Alamo has long passed, the fighting spirit of ‘no retreat or no surrender’ still remains in the hearts and minds of Texans.
- “Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession. Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word” — Author John Steinbeck.
Although Texas joined the United States in 1845, it kept its culture of independence and remains so to this day.
- Texas does not, like any other region, simply have indigenous dishes. It proclaims them. It congratulates you, on your arrival, at having escaped from the slop pails of the other 49 states.” – Alistair Cooke
Texas has a multitude of delish and famous foods, but the main two are Chili and BBQ. Beginning in the 1840s, Texas cowboys developed a unique style of chili that does not contain beans or tomatoes like other styles of chili, and instead, the base is primarily ground meat. Chili is so popular, that most Texans have their own “secret chili recipe!” Even more loved is BBQ, which has a rich history in Texas. The meat smoking tradition was brought to central Texas by the Czech and German settler during the mid-nineteenth century and soon became a staple of Texas cuisine. So much so that four styles of Texas BBQ have become popular around the different geographic regions and the merits of each type are hotly debated throughout the state.