The resurrection of the Lone Star Republic


courtesy of the Multi Media Design Class

courtesy of Claire Uygur ’16 Multi Media Design Class

One nation, under God, perhaps not so indivisible. A recent influx of online petitions for secession demonstrate that not all citizens of the 50 states are content with being united. Out of all the states, Texas is the most determined proponent of disunion, having gathered the most support in its attempt to become its own country.
Anyone over the age of 13 can visit and create a petition through a webpage called “We the People,” launched on September 22, 2011. According to the rules set by the official White House website, petitions that receive 25,000 digital signatures or more within 30 days are guaranteed a response from the Obama administration. 
December 9, 2012 marked the last day for Texas’ petition to secede from the union to acquire signatures. The virtual petition surpassed the 25,000 threshold within a week, racking up 125,746 signatures by the end of the 30 day period.
According to, a spokesperson for Governor Rick Perry said that he does not support the idea of his state striking out on its own.
“Gov. Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it,” said Catherine Frazier, press secretary for Rick Perry, according to a statement from the governor’s office. “But, he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government.”
The Lone Star state is not alone in its efforts to secede. In reaction to President Barack Obama’s reelection, residents from several states submitted petitions alongside Texas seeking to withdraw from the United States and form their own governments.
“The question of secession which has arisen in the wake of Texas’ and other red-state frustration with the Obama election victory is a very interesting philosophical one.” Mr. Vincent Badagliacca, Upper School Chair of the History Department, said. “In addition to the fact that in our history, three Supreme Court justices, one famous president, and the language of a modern pledge of allegiance suggest that secession is not possible, historians also teach that the bloody resolution of the Civil War resolved the issue once and for all.”
By mid-November, every state in the country had at least one petition with more than 150 pledges of support, the amount required for a petition to be added to the website’s database. Some visitors to started counter-petitions, asking that the president put a stop to the secession buzz. Petitions from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee have also accumulated the requisite 25,000 signatures.
Just last week, the White House finally issued a long-awaited formal response to Texas and other secession petitions via “We the People” entitled “Our States Remain United.”
“In a nation of 300 million people — each with their own set of deeply-held beliefs — democracy can be noisy and controversial. And that’s a good thing,” Mr. Jon Carson, Director of the Office of Public Engagement, said in the official online response. “But as much as we value a healthy debate, we don’t let that debate tear us apart.”
Whether the petitions are simply a display of disappointment in former presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s loss in the election or a cry of genuine concern, the likelihood of Texas or any other states detaching from the union is low. Nevertheless, the uproar from petition supporters and opponents has raised questions regarding the balance between state and federal power.
– Jane Gerstner, Features Editor