Texas is Texas, that’s for sure, and even the Christian cross has come to reflect the peculiar qualities that elicit fierce loyalty and identity from locals and both fascination and aversion from outsiders. But what makes Texas, “Texas?” And, consequently what makes Texans ingrain their culture in their crosses? Texans garner these attitudes and convictions from a history of rugged independence and a pride of their roots formed on ranches and fields that bring forth cotton, cattle, oil, politicians and football stars. There is an unwavering devotion to the Texan way of life, to what Randolph B. Campbell has called “personal liberty, rampant individualism, and admiration for the superrich.”
Although in general, the cross is a symbol of suffering and an icon of redemption and victory through pain and death, in Texas, the cross serves as a symbol of freedom, ingenuity, rough-and-tumble independence and strength.