Which state inspired the name and creation of Six Flags amusement parks?

And the answer: Texas.    
Photo credit: Six Flags Over Texas. 

Six Flags is short for “Six Flags Over Texas,” which refers to the six different nations that have governed Texas: Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America, and the United States of America.

61 years ago on August 1 in 1961, the very first Six Flags opened its doors. Throngs of thrill-seekers and families appeared at the Six Flags of Texas gates, and its grand opening just five days later brought in over 8,000 visitors. Yet, success certainly didn’t come overnight. The theme park originally began as the brainchild of Texas real estate developer Angus G. Wynne, Jr., who was inspired after a visit to the newly-opened Disneyland in California. The developer decided that his home state deserved a similar attraction—but this time served with a steaming scoop of Texas history. Construction began in August 1960, and the 205-acre park was completed just a year later.  

The brand-new park was separated into six different sections, themed accordingly with the nation it represented. Each section represented the cultures of the separate nations, and enabled visitors to experience everything from cowboy culture to Southern belles to pirates. Originally, Wynne believed the park should be called “Texas Under Six Flags,” to honor his state, before his wife recalled that Texas should never be under anything.

The park has since combined the Spain and Mexico sections into one area, while referring to the France and Confederacy sections as the “Old South and France.” Meanwhile, the Texas and United States areas still remain, and additional sections have been added over the years, including “Tower,” “Boomtown,” “Gotham City,” and “Goodtimes Square” (since absorbed by Gotham City), for a total of 7 themed areas. Six Flags is the world’s largest regional theme park company, and operates 27 theme, water, and zoological parks in North America.

Learn more about the history of Six Flags here.

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