Houston (CBS HOUSTON) — As Texas celebrated its annual “Texas Independence Day,” many in the state’s government leadership and ongoing secession movement say Texas is finally preparing to become an “independent nation.”

The 178th anniversary of the 59 settlers’ signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence commemorates the Lone Star State’s March 2, 1836 break from Mexico to create the Republic of Texas. With the Alamo famously under siege, the delegates declared their independence and today the only state that ever won a war to become its own country celebrates March 2 as its own official “national” holiday.

The U.S. brought Texas in as the 28th state of the Union in an event known as the Texas Annexation of 1845.

But recent rhetoric from anti-tax Tea Partiers, libertarians and state officials alike suggests that the secession movement may be moving a step beyond parties and re-enactments, The Inquisitr reported.

Texas Attorney General candidate Barry Smitherman has openly expressed the possibility of Texas secession.

“Generally speaking, we have made great progress in becoming an independent nation, an ‘island nation’ if you will, and I think we want to continue down that path so that if the rest of the country falls apart, Texas can operate as a stand-alone entity with energy, food, water and roads as if we were a closed-loop system,” Smitherman said.

Candidate for Texas governor, Larry Kilgore, recently wrote that he believes a “U.S. economic collapse cannot be avoided,” and the best solution would be for “Texas needs to secede now or we will sink too.”

Speaking with a flag-waving Tea Party crowd rallying against the federal government in 2009, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that Texas entered the union with the understanding that it could pull out – which it did with 10 other states to form the Confederacy during the Civil War – before being forced back into the union at war’s end.

“There’s a lot of different scenarios,” Perry told reporters in 2009, suggesting Texans may get too fed up with the “federal budget mess” to part ways with the rest of the country. “We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot to boot.”

But contrary to popular belief, Texas does not have any more right to secede from the union than any other state.

According to Texas’ 1845 annexation agreement, the state could technically be split up into five states without the authorization of the federal government.

Texas State Rep. Charles Perry claims that the truth is Texas cannot legally secede.

“It’s not legal contrary to public opinion,” Perry said. “Texas cannot secede legally. We gave up that right at the end of the civil war; it was part of becoming the union.”

However, a recent Inquisitr report cites a legal caveat in the Supreme Court opinion from the 1869 Texas v. White case, in which judges wrote that, “The Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible States.”

But in that ruling, the “indissoluble” union between Texas and the other States leaves open the possibility of secession “through revolution, or through consent of the States.”

The Texas secession movement has continued to declare its “go it alone” attitude, and the movement has caught on it at least 15 other states, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Regardless of secession talk and federal government financial woes, the state of Texas appears to be doing just fine.

The American Legislative Exchange Council reports that Americans are relocating to Texas more rapidly than any other state, with many attributing non-existent income taxes and job availability as the primary motivators. And a recent Forbes report shows that Texas’ economy has booming on nearly all levels for the last five years. Their report on U.S. metro areas with the most economic momentum for 2014 includes second-place San Antonio and Houston, as well as citing Austin as an energy and economic powerhouse.

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