"Six Flags" refers to the six different flags that have flown over Texas since the arrival of Europeans. They are:

  1. The Spanish flag, 1519-1821: The Spanish "explorers" were the first Europeans in the area and claimed the land for Spain.
  2. The French flag, 1685-1690: While france did not claim the entire land of Texas, they did maintain a colony within its borders.
  3. The Mexican flag, 1821-1836: Texas was a part of Mexico after that country won independence from Spain.
  4. The Texas flag, 1836-1845: The Republic of Texas was an independent country for nine years before joining the United States.
  5. The Confederate flag, 1861-1865: During the US' Civil War, Texas was among the Confederate States of America.
  6. The United States flag, 1845-1861 and 1866-present: Texas was annexed by the US in 1845 and has been a part of the country since, with the exception of the secession and civil war period.

With their first amusement park, Six Flags over Texas, opening in 1961 in Arlington, Texas, the Six Flags chain takes its name from the history elaborated above.