Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

July 2, 2013

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Legislative standoff will go down in history with ‘pink flag’

Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — I imagine that a large pink flag with bold black letters saying, "Come and Take it" must be flying somewhere in Texas right now following the clash between Governor Rick Perry and State Senator Wendy Davis from Ft. Worth.  Those familiar with the history of Texas will recall that in 1835 the first military engagement of the Texas Revolution and clear break between Texans and the Mexican government occurred in Gonzales.  At the time it didn't seem like much of a dust up.  The Mexican government simply wanted the town of Gonzales  to surrender a small cannon to them.  The people of Gonzales determined to keep their cannon for their own needs hosted a "Come and Take It" flag in the face of 100 Mexican dragoons sent to gain control of the cannon.  Over time that Gonzales flag became significant because it embodied symbolic values that still drive many Texans like Senator Wendy Davis.  When Governor Perry and right wing GOP legislators rammed through 1950's style anti-abortion legislation and demanded that Texas women surrender their reproductive rights to them, Senator Wendy Davis stood her ground and symbolically rallied thousands of Texas' independent, non GOP,  and moderate GOP women to her cause.  If Governor Perry and his senatorial dragoons want to take away women's reproductive rights - well, they will just have to come and take them.  Just as the Mexican government dismissed the Gonzales town folk as rabble so Governor Perry dismissed the women standing in the Senate gallery in support of Senator Davis as rabble.   Senator Wendy Davis may well loose this initial fight with Governor Perry, but  history will someday note that the first engagement between Texas women and the men that control the Texas State House took place on June 25 in the Senate Chamber.

                            Terry Thompson