Los legisladores de Texas dicen "niet" a una bandera de aspecto ruso

La Cámara de Representantes de Texas rechazó el pasado sábado una propuesta para adoptar una bandera oficial del Gobernador del Estado, debido a que el diseño, que reproduce uno usado por la Marina tejana en 1839, era muy parecido a la actual enseña de la Federación Rusa. En cambio, se adoptó un paño azul con el sello del Estado en el centro y una estrella blanca en cada esquina.

Texas lawmakers say nyet to a Russian look-alike flag


AUSTIN — A proposed flag bearing a strong resemblance to the one that flutters over the Kremlin just didn’t fly in the Texas House of Representatives on Saturday.

The flag — with red, white and blue horizontal stripes and a star in the middle — was being proposed as the official flag for the Texas governor. Take away the star and it looks virtually identical to the flag of post-Soviet Russia.

Instead, after a bit of mocking repartee in Russian and a few one-liners about secession, House members tentatively settled on a substitute flag offered by Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford: a dark-blue background, with a white star in each corner, a Lone Star seal in the center, surrounded by olive and oak branches.

Members also tacked on: "In God We Trust."

The lighthearted debate seemed to fit with the informal atmosphere of the House’s first Saturday session of the 2009 Legislature. Though male lawmakers wore the required coat and tie, at least one showed up in jeans and cowboy boots.

King, at the front mike, and Rep. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, at the back of the chamber, opened the discussion with what was obviously an orchestrated exchange in Russian. Paxton, who studied Russian in college, quickly instructed King on what to say.

"Members, vote America, not Russia," King, reverting to English, said in support of his amendment.

Rep. Jim Dunnam, D-Waco, who proposed the red-white-and-blue flag, defended it, saying the design was that of the 1839 Texas pilot flag that graced ships when Texas was a republic. "If anything, the Russians copied us," he said.

Wisecracks about Gov. Rick Perry’s recent remarks on secession also found their way into the debate. "Does having your own flag entitle you to secede and have your own country?" asked Rep. Valinda Bolton, D-Austin.

King said he scrambled into action Saturday morning after a Capitol staff member pointed out the resemblance between the historic Texas flag and the one that has flown over Russia since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

King’s substitute flag was modeled from flags that Texas governors displayed in the 1960s and 1970s before the practice was dropped.

"You’ve got to cut up a little bit down here," King said. "It gets too serious."

DAVE MONTGOMERY, 512-476-4294

Star Telegram

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