In the 1930s the Texas Highway Department began a landscaping and beautification program that included planting bluebonnets all along the state’s highways, greatly extending the flowers range. Lady Bird Johnson also helped spread the flowers along roads and highways.
The bluebonnet actually is more than a state flower. As historian Jack Maguire commented, it has become a floral symbol as well known to outsiders as cowboy boots and Stetson hats. It is to Texas what the Shamrock is to Ireland and the tulip is to Holland. It is a popular subject for photographers and artists and many communities celebrate with bluebonnet festivals.
Dr. Tommy Stringer is executive director of the Navarro College Foundation.
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