Thursday, January 02, 2003

Six Flags Over Texas Spokesman Easily Stumped By Seven-Year-Old

The story has been a staple of Six Flags Over Texas tours for years, even decades: Way back when, when Angus G. Wynne, Jr., first conceived of opening a Texas theme park, he planned to call it “Texas Under Six Flags,” referencing the half-dozen countries that had ruled the state. But because he and other Texans didn’t like the idea of Texas being under anything, it got changed to the now-familiar “Six Flags Over Texas.”

So SFoT spokesman Gregg Murray didn’t expect anything besides a polite chuckle when sharing the story with a holiday-season tour of elementary school kids who had won an essay-writing contest.

But then Pete Marvin, a second grader from LBJ Elementary in Dallas, pointed out the blindingly obvious: “If the six flags are over Texas, then Texas is still under the six flags. That’s what we learned about ‘over’ and ‘under’ in first grade, anyway.”

Murray was initially rendered speechless, and then attempted to recover. “But, you see, it’s not Texas under six flags any more. The flags are over…um…it’s not under. It’s over.” At press time, the spokesman was hunched over at his desk with a small model of Texas and miniature flags, muttering, “Over…under…over…under…dammit!”

Chain spokesperson Maureen Sokolow issued a statement: "It is Six Flags Theme Parks's position that Six Flags Over Texas is not equivalent to Texas Under Six Flags. The former does not imply Texas being under anything; it merely describes flags being over Texas. Also, four inversions are equivalent to seven, and full is empty."