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Rose of Honor

Written by Nola McKey.

For National Women

While the facts surrounding the Yellow Rose of Texas legend remain elusive, no one disputes the esteem in which "the heroine of the Battle of San Jacinto" is held in Texas culture. For more than four decades, that esteem has taken the form of a special Governor's award given only to Texas women.

In the late 1950s, the administration of Governor Allan Shivers created the Yellow Rose of Texas Award "to honor Emily Morgan's important role in the battle for our state's independence." The award, given only through the Office of the Governor, recognizes outstanding Texas women for their "significant contributions to their communities and to Texas in the preservation of our history, the accomplishments of our present and the building of our future."

Notable recipients have included the late Big Bend rancher, schoolteacher, author, and justice of the peace Hallie Stillwell, and Kingsville native Laura Canales, called the "Queen of Tejano Music." However, thousands of lesser-known Texans, ranging from university professors to public-health nurses, have also received the award. Many of the recipients have been full-time civic volunteers.

To nominate someone for the award, write to the Office of the Governor (Box 12428, Austin 78711), and fully describe her service to the community and state, listing specific examples of her efforts. If the nomination is approved (allow three to four weeks for a reply), you'll receive a handsome proclamation bearing the recipient's name, the governor's signature, and the State Seal. Nominators often present the proclamation to the honoree along with–what else?–a bouquet of yellow roses.

From the January 1998 issue.

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