"Six Flags" is one of those brand names that you probably take for granted like Apple and Subway. But have you ever wondered what the heck it means? At least "Subway" bears some connection to the product it serves.
The chain began 52 years ago in the outskirts of Dallas as Six Flags Over Texas. The name refers to the six flags that have flown over the massive state since the 16th century: Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederacy, and, of course, the United States. The park pays homage to all six of the sovereignties, but refers to the "Old South" instead of the Confederacy.
One of the industry's first major regional theme parks (but really more of an amusement park), its owners took the concept to other locations. It kept the name intact for Six Flags Over Georgia, even though there is no similar historical record of six nations hoisting its flag over the state (as far as I know). Six Flags St. Louis was originally known as Six Flags Over MId-America, but all of the other parks in the chain dropped the "Over" altogether.
In addition to six flags, the spinning swing tower ride, Texas SkyScreamer will be flying over -- way over -- Six Flags Over Texas this season. While other parks have a similar attraction, in typical Texas style, the Lone Star State version will be the tallest yet at 400 feet. Acrophobics may want to sit that one out.
Read more about Six Flags Over Texas.
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Photo: Six Flags. Used with permission.