By TATUM MAPES
Texas, also known as the Lone Star State, has a rich history of colonization, rebellion, triumph and liberty. One can expect that, with these defining qualities, Texans have massive amounts of pride in their state, and it is true. Driving through the southwestern state, one can find flags flown over every other building, even if it is not used by the government. There are also Texas T-shirts, jackets, even boots with the state’s iconic shape imprinted on them. On the backs of every other car, university and state bumper stickers show off each citizen’s appreciation for their state. California has just as much historical significance, maybe even more, than Texas, so why do Californians have less state pride than Texans?
Walking around in California, it is difficult to see the signs of state pride. T-shirts and bumper stickers are only easy to find at airport and amusement park gift shops, and, when they are found around the state, they seem to only be used by tourists coming from out of state. California flags are only seen flying above government facilities and tourist destinations. There are very few signs of state pride displayed to express the general public’s opinion about the Golden State.
Texas is not the only state with more pride than California. One REV student spent her winter break vacation visiting family in Utah. She described all of the university logos on the backs of many of the passing cars, as well as state flags and logos everywhere within eyesight of the freeway. However, as soon as the Nevada-California border was passed, the decreased amount of state appreciation was evident, with all appearances of state logos coming to a halt.
Despite the seemingly infinite amount of songs people hear on the radio about their state, Californians do not feel pride. This is shocking considering the state’s rich history, culture, natural wonders and iconic cities. In a recent poll by USA Today, 68 percent of Texans polled agreed with the statement that their state is the best state to live in, ranking it at number five out of 50. 51 percent of Californians polled agreed that their state is the best to live in, ranking it at 17, which is not bad, but is strange considering how much more the state shows up in history textbooks compared to Alaska, the number one state in the poll.
Whether if it is political, geographical, cultural, historical, economical or completely random, there is no absolutely exact way to pinpoint the exact reason why Californians exhibit less pride in comparison other states. This is evident considering that over 323 million people live in this diverse country of 50 states, each state with its own government and culture. California’s state pride is not as high as it would seem it would be. It has major importance to the country’s culture, history and economy. The display of pride by citizens helps build up the pride of others and increases the amount of state and national pride overall.
Lee, Jolie. “Which U.S. States Have the Most Pride?” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 25 Apr. 2014, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/04/25/state-pride-gallup-montana-alaska/8140879/.