What Texas can and cannot do

Texas was an independent country for 9 years, an independent country with several foreign embassies.


What Texas can and cannot do

James Moody

There has been a lot of misinformation spread around the internet about what Texas can and can’t do. Being a history buff and having studied Texas history maybe I can shed some light on the subject for your readers.

Texas was an independent country for 9 years before joining the United States, unlike California which was not recognized by other countries and immediately joined the United States. Texas was recognized by England, France and other European countries and had foreign embassies. In fact you can go to London today and see a placard that marks the site of the Republic of Texas Embassy.

Texas entered the U.S. under a treaty signed by both countries. Under this treaty Texas retained certain rights not held by other states. Among these are the right to divide into 5 states without the permission of Congress, the State boundary extends offshore to the international boundary, the right to a Navy (which exists and consists of the Battleship Texas and is purely ceremonial now, being an Admiral in the Texas Navy is given as an honor by the State Legislature) and under international law the right to renounce the treaty if the State or Federal government so chooses.

This treaty was upheld in modern times by the U.S. Supreme Court in the an offshore oil rights case in 1953 (?). During this case the Supreme Court accidentally came within 8 hours of actually throwing Texas out of the U.S. When oil was discovered in deep water off the coast of Texas in the 1950’s both the U.S. and Texas claimed the oil. This case reached the 5th circuit court of Appeals in New Orleans which naturally ruled for the Federal government saying the Civil War invalidated the treaty. Texas appealed to the Supreme Court, which because their pay check came from Washington too, was about to uphold the lower court ruling.

However the night before the ruling a law clerk in preparing the majority ruling did some research to determine the status of Texas if the treaty was invalidated and found out that legally Texas would no longer be part of the U.S. and by international law would revert back to its status as an independent country and could claim its original boundaries, not the current boundaries. The U.S. would be required to recognize the Republic of Texas and withdraw from Texas as rapidly as practical. (You can imagine how fast the Soviet Union would have jumped on this. How many Migs do you need governor and when do you need them?) The clerk called the Chief Justice late at night and got him to put off the decision. To get out of this legal quandary the Court ruled that the lower Court was wrong the treaty was still valid but in 1845 the international boundary was 3 miles from the low tide mark so Texas retained rights three miles out and the Federal government had the rights beyond three miles.

The key legal issue in the current discussion is the fact that the treaty of annexation is still valid and because its an international agreement either party can terminate the treaty.

The only legal document that exists that makes Texas part of the U.S. is that Treaty. Under international law Texas can renounce the Treaty and does not have to obtain approval from the U.S. Congress to do so. No other State has this power. The mistake Texas made in 1861 was joining the Confederacy.

If Texas decides to leave the U.S., (unlikely but less and less unlikely given the excesses of the Biden regime) I can assure you the Republic of Texas would get immediate recognition from the OAS, OPEC nations and get a favorable ruling from the International Court in the Hague insuring future support from European countries.

Editor’s note: According to Wikipedia, the Republic of Texas did indeed have several foreign embassies.

76 thoughts on “What Texas can and cannot do”

  1. Gee, I was born down there in Denton, in northwest Texas. Should I expect to move back there some day? I’m kinda fond of where I am, with all the spring-thru-autumn wildflowers and bugs/butterflies/moths, and birds. I’d miss all of that.

  2. Very good article. Here is an interesting footnote. Robert E. Lee was put on trial for trying to take states out of the Union. The Supreme Court found him innocent because, they said, it was not illegal for states to leave the union.
    I leave this to legal buffs for further comment.

      • You are right. I’m old enough that memory is no longer reliable. It was Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, that faced trial for treason. It was not at the Supreme Court Level, either. He got off of the charge for a reason actually given by Chief Justice Chase: he could not be accused of treason if he were not a citizen of the U.S., but there were no U.S. citizens, there were only citizens of individual states, and therefore a charge of treason was untenable. (I’ll give a citation for all this in a moment.) But most importantly to our discussion of whether or not any state, not just Texas, can leave the Union, see this most amazing line in the article: “In some circles, there wasn’t much appetite for trying Davis for treason anyway. Officials of the US government were afraid that Davis would prove that the South’s secession had been legal.” Yep, that’s right, legal. And there is to this day a strong school that holds that any state can leave if it wants to. And why not? The Union is not commanded by God, it is only an agreement entered in to for the good of each state, and if the Union turns corrupt, it’s time for all good states to consider leaving for the good of their citizens, IMHO. Here’s the short article: https://knowledgenuts.com/2015/06/19/the-clever-way-jefferson-davis-avoided-being-convicted-of-treason/

  3. Australian states could technically leave the commonwealth though our constitution is unclear.

    During a political stand off in the 70’s the idea of Queensland seceding was floated – it reminded political grandstanding.

    Interesting topic though.

    • and now WA is also considering secession;-)
      hmm lol bonus for them keeping all the mineral etc taxes
      theres still a few wanting to split qld into 2 as per the WW2 ideas in case the japs managed to invade that part

      • I’m a native of Oregon and an un-patrioted refugee now living in Texas. I love Oregon, but feel very unsafe there because of the Socialist government that is west of the Cascade Mountains and controls the entire state. I would Love it if the old Oregon Territory was restoted.

        That would be Northern California, Oregon, Washington, parts of Brittish Columbia, Nevada, Utah, Montana, and Wyoming. ( did I leave anyone out?)

        Californians are mooving away from their Socialist Paradise and Californicating Oregon. Now Oregon is so Socialist, every one is equal —- Equally Poor.

        Texas is a really great place to live. I am now retired here. People here are really friendly. I can never go home again.

  4. The threat of Texas leaving is a wonderful bargaining chip but only if it is under serious consideration. Therefore they would be wise to take some real steps in that direction. Biden and his handlers would panic.

      • OOORAH! I can dig that. If only politicans really, really, knew what we really, really, think. Socialist heads would be spinning from coast to coast. (then barfing).

    • I lived in Texas for several years, but left in mid-2015 due to my career. I still have lots of friends in Texas. They are truly a wonderful people. My wife and I have an agreement to return our family in the event of a secession. We’ll bring all of skills, precious metals, and fire arms with us.

      On a tangent, one legality that has always made me curious was New Hampshire’s constitution. Article 10 explicitly protects the right to violent rebellion. Does any other founding document have that?

  5. If that happens, I’ll be moving to Texas. Already have friends there. If they will let me. Bringing my own guns.

  6. Margaret Thatcher, former British prime minister and good friend of Ronald Reagan, said that a part of a country which had once been independent had the right to take back their independence. She had Scotland in mind.

    Texas is not the only part of North America which was once independent and is now part of a larger nation.

    The province of Manitoba in Canada was independent for a time in 1869 and 70. The Hudson’s Bay Company, which had ruled Manitoba for 200 years, sold it to Britain which resold it to Canada.

    The people of Manitoba objected because they had not been consulted. They prevented the governor appointed by Canada from entering Manitoba. Canada negotiated with Manitoba and Manitoba voluntarily entered Canadian Confederation, the only part of the land to do so.

    So by Margaret Thatcher’s standard both Texas and Manitoba have a right to leave their respective countries.

  7. Fascinating.
    Good research.
    When Rome became a murderous police state with a top down legal system, the Northern Provinces had their own legal system.
    Intended to settle differences between individuals, not to enable a dictatorial state.
    The comparison would be the Angles and Saxons were to Rome as Texas is now to DC and NYC.

    • By the time the Angles and Saxons came into the picture, the Western Roman Empire was in decline. Roman Civilization also went through a transformation period where they went from what is portrayed in the movies to what we associate with Medieval Europe. This occurred before Rome fell.

      It didn’t help that they were leaving the Roman Warming/Warm Period and entering a cold period, which reduced agricultural capabilities… And contributed to the decline in the ability to generate wealth.

      Roman control got weaker and was not able to enforce a “top down” legal system… Which fell more and more into local hands the closer they got to the period of the last emperor of the western part of the Roman Empire.

      The Angels and Saxons were from an area outside of Roman control, from an area that was a part of “Germania Magna”.

      The CCP, with their aggressive diplomacy and unrestricted warfare, which includes infusing a lot of Chinese nationals into other countries under the auspices of “education, research, enhancing culturing understanding, Belt Road Initiative, etc.,” would be a better comparison to the Angles and Saxons to any state in the U.S.

  8. I find this as regards 1953:
    “Enacted as: “Submerged Lands Act”, on May 22, 1953 Where Law Applies: Navigable waters, and lands beneath, within the boundaries of the respective coastal states out to 3 nautical miles from its coast line ***(3 marine leagues for Texas and the Gulf coast of Florida;…***”
    Three marine leagues is 10.36 miles.


  9. I’m a native Texan and still live in the city I was born in almost 6 decades ago.
    There are plenty of us true Texans that get a big smile at the thought of Texas once again being its own nation. It would be a monumental headache to make the transition. But I bet the southern border of Texas would be more secure.

    • ” I bet the southern border of Texas would be more secure.” Well that’s the whole scam of Texas, isn’t it? Allegedly so “conservative”, Texas has the same percent of its population, and the same percent of its workforce, illegal as does California – and California is a sanctuary state. What does that make Texas? Yes, exactly, a sanctuary state.

      There is absolutely nothing to prevent Texas from prosecuting Texas ranchers and businesses for hiring illegals, yet Texas has never done so … because … wait for it … it is a sanctuary state.

      • CalDre, I think you misinterpret Texas. Spanish was the language long before English and many cities along the border are split with half in the US and half in Mexico. Free movement has always been part of the Texas culture. That said, there is a lot more border security imposed by nongovernmental individuals than you might imagine. And most families along the border don’t like the illegal immigrants either.

      • Your claim is totally bogus. Only a few cities within Texas have claimed to be sanctuaries for border invading criminals. The state of Texas has never done so. Why would Texas spend nearly 10% of its budget on border control if they supported open borders?

      • I suggest you reread the article. When a Texan travels to a foreign country and someone asks “where are h you from?” A Texan always answers “I’m from Texas”, never from the US first. Texas is still it’s own country to any true Texan, native or naturalized. Yes, just like a country, the term naturalized Texan is in common usage. You somehow are overlooking that the Republic of Texas will have a new Constitution, new legislative body and new laws. Texas can do whatever it chooses to. Think Texas hasn’t been preparing for this option? Texas has taken the option of getting paid by the federal government to run those programs. It didn’t take Medicaid funds. Texas has deliberately built up those programs with Texas employees and Texas owned infrastructure. Texas can secede and has that entire infrastructure already built with experienced employees.

        • Chris, we are ones of these naturalized Texan that always say ‘We are from Texas’
          Be become citizens of the US in 2018, however I have always felt Texan more then an American. Strange. I’ve shared this in conversation with friends many many times. Texas is great! Home sweet home!

  10. “It’s worse than they thought”…

    That little line, ‘former borders’ is rather important.
    “The boundaries of the Texas territory were left unspecified. Four new states could ultimately be carved from the former republic”

    Were the Republic Of Texas to leave, it would take with it chunks of Oklahoma, New Mexico, a nibble of what I think is Kansas, then a strip of Colorado up to a chunk of Wyoming that’s a nibble out of the middle bottom.


    I’m game!

  11. A reading of the Declaration of Independence shows that the colonies (then British colonial provinces) declared independence as independent nations, not as a single United States. Great Britain is also labeled as “a state” in the declaration. Each of the states were identified as having the same rights (as nation states) as Great Britain in an international setting.

    The Declaration of Independence references the states in plural, same with the peace treaty that ended the American Revolution. “State” as used in the 18th Century, meant “nation state”. Which means that the United States was the name of an alliance of independent nation states rather than the name of a single nation.

    The Articles of Confederation was the initial attempt to form a single nation, but it resulted in something similar to the UN. Sovereignty remained with each state, each acting as a nation. This eventually got replaced by the Constitution.

    In the peace treaty that ended the American Revolution, King George III acknowledged the independence of the states (mentioned in plural rather than as a single nation). King George III was acknowledging that each state was an independent “nation state” even before the signing of the peace treaty. The United States was used, in the treaty, in place of writing out the names of each of the states throughout the document.

    The United States as the country it is today did not come into existence until the US Constitution was ratified. The US Constitution is like a treaty, it had to be ratified. In order to make changes to The Constitution, the changes have to be ratified by enough of the states for the changes to come into effect.

    The Constitution is a form of agreement, among the states, that separates what the federal government is allowed to do on behalf of the states, and what it is not allowed to do. It was deliberately restrictive, with most of the power residing in the states and with the people. It was like a “homeowners association” where the states outsourced their federal responsibilities to a central government that was supposed to remain small and not be powerful relative to the states. The states retained the rest of the sovereignty they would’ve had as independent nations.

    The main thrust, for independence, confederation, and constitution, was the statement in the declaration about specific natural rights we had… And that the job of government was to ensure that we have these rights. God gave us these rights, the state can’t just take them away from us unless it was warranted (crime was committed and the judicial process kicked in). Based on our founder’s reasoning, continued violation of our natural rights while ignoring or prohibiting our grievances against such violations would justify dissolving a union… The Declaration of Independence was a secession from the British Empire, something that our founders were initially not in favor of.

    Texas, listed by Mexico as a “province in revolt” until the treaty ending the Mexican-American War, was able to go as far as establish diplomatic missions overseas because it had the backing of both Great Britain and The United States. It wasn’t until the French, Spanish, Dutch, etc., joined the war on our side that we had similar support during the American Revolution. Likewise, the colonies were considered as “provinces in revolt” by Great Britain.

  12. Great article. Let’s go Texit! D.C./NY&NJ/CA are not fixable. Just leave. Who cares what you can and can’t do legally. D.C. doesn’t obey the constitution. They just do what they want and ignore it. So leave. Just do it and tell the government to pound sand.

    Civil war was about taxes not slavery. South was paying 80% of the federal budget with 20% of the population so the crony-capitalist Lincoln (an actual white supremacist – not like the nonsense you hear today) could finance the railroad from Chicago to SF through his own property in Illinois. Corrupt piece of shit who supported free states to keep black people out and was in the process of sending them to Liberia so they wouldn’t be in United States. SC seceded because the tariffs destroyed their economy for 30 years prior to the war. Yes, many of them were racist too but the war was about taxes. Then, after they seceded federal ships kept collecting tariffs and tried to resupply Fort Sumter with military wares despite repeated requests by South Carolina to vacate. Too bad the south lost because now we have the insane federal government of today. Slavery was ending peacefully everywhere in the world because it’s economically inefficient but leave it to Lincoln to kill a million people so he could keep his crony coffers full.

    • Several other states not affiliated with the South were also thinking about secession. Also, the Emancipation Proclamation did not free all of the slaves. Only in selected States. After the war, General Grant was asked why he didn’t free his wife’s slaves? He replied that good help was hard to get. That’s racist. He later became president and was who made the term “lobbyist” exist. I am angry that I was taught incorrect history in school. I’m 50. That says a lot!

    • The Socialist Carpetbagers that stole the U S from us have gone Berserk and lost their heads cause they are still PO’d about us freeing all their slaves.

  13. I would love to move to Texas if it were an independent country. No longer subject to US Government insanity, with fake money, perpetual corruption, and now fake virus hysteria (COVID-19 is 100% fake), Texans should seize the opportunity to breathe free and live lives of true character. This is a perfect time for Texas to sever itself from a highly disturbed federal government and become a neutral country with no binding ties to any other.

  14. The main issue today is a green regulation in favor of the green religious dogma of “climate change”. It would be favorable for Texas to have own regulations on oil/gas leases, environmental regulation on fracking, potential taxes on gasolene and other fossile fuel.
    Another point could be the regulation of social media and their censoring. The main question is if the government of Texas and poeple have the bravery to stand for a different position.

  15. I an a Native Texan. The reason for the talk of Texas leaving the Union is because the current country, which we find ourselves, is not the country into which we were born.

  16. If Texas leaves, other states will want to leave. California will probably be the first after Texas. But it will break up between west and east.

    Nation 1: Western California will unite with western Oregon and western Washington. Hawaii will affiliate itself with this group.

    Nation 2: Eastern California will unite with eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Montana. Alaska will affiliate with this group.

    Nation 3: Texas will unite with Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia, western Pennsylvania and southern Virginia.

    Nation 4: Michigan will unite with Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Iowa and Minnesota.

    Nation 5: Maine will unite with New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, D.C. and northern Virginia.

    Five separate nations.

  17. Who is the creators and who is the created? The states created the Federal government so all states have a God given right to absolve their union if it is to their and the peoples’ benefit.

  18. If Texas goes out of the (since 1865) involuntary “union”, I will pull up stakes and move there. I especially like the idea of Texas partitioning itself into up to 5 “States”. I presume a voluntary union of it’s parts, under a TRUE federal system where SPECIFIC grants of power (national defense, etc.) could be delegated to a common body of representatives. The Presidency could be made up of the 5 Governors of each State. BTW, the peaceful secession of any of the other States is a moral issue that is grounded on the right of people to “alter or abolish” their political arrangements whensoever THEY decide it’s in the best interests of their people. It’s called the inalienable right to self-government. Crushing a legitimate independence movement is nothing but tyranny and murder. It’s a gross violation of human rights that the political talking heads all pretend they believe in and will defend. I love the idea of using the Hague as a place for such independence minded peoples to go in search of world support.

  19. If Texas leaves the US and goes indy, would that mean that I could quit sending alimony to all my exes? An inquiring non-Texan wants to know.

  20. The big “sticky – wickets” I’ve heard tossed about are
    1 would so many veterans receiving their disability from serving the Federal Military lose this minimal $
    2 with so many Baby Boomers in Texas that have paid into the SS system ( not knowing it was a scam/having no recourse anyway), would they lose what they come to depend on? Thanks so much for this research! As a 6 generation Texan, it makes me smile 😉

    • According to Kyle Biederman, the Texas state rep who introduced this Texit legislation, citizens of Texas would still get their social security benefits, as American expats living overseas receive their ss benefits.

  21. Author assumes our present SCOTUS is an honest forum for law and justice – that train left the station a LOOOONG time ago!
    “We’re not gonna vote our way out of this.” – Vox Day

  22. Texas actually seceding and becoming its own country is exciting and timely. It would be a great blessing to Texans if a new Texas republic installed a government that guaranteed and maximized individual freedom. Otherwise, life in Texas could become worse than the present. There is only one way I know that would keep a Texas republic free from the kind of selfish operatives that inhabit the DC swamp and similar swamps around the world. Have the Constitution of the new Texas republic contain an irrevocable provision that permits any Texas county, by 2/3 vote of its members, to secede from the Texas republic for any reason whatsoever. No county would want to secede if the benefit of remaining in the Texas republic outweighed its costs. Legalized secession is the only way I know that would sure fire keep people in government honest. Like marriage, which is no easy expedition, if you want your mate to stay with you, the knowledge they can secede from you keeps your behavior kind.

  23. All of the original 13 States left England and “…assume[d] among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them,…”.

    All of the original 13 States were recognized by England at the Treaty of Paris as Free and Independent States.

    All signed the Articles of Confederation with the express understanding that they retained their sovereign status and could end their membership in the union at anytime.

    All signed the Constitution of 1789 with the express understanding that they retained their sovereign status and could end their membership in the union at anytime.

    Note that George Washington was sworn in with North Carolina and Rhode Island not yet in the Union. They did not trust the new Government.

    Recall that Patrick Henry returned home stating that he “Smelled a Rat in Philadelphia”.

    The War to Prevent Southern Independence failed to secure a return to Sovereign status of 13 of the States, not because it was not allowed by law, but by force of arms.

    Now all 50 are pinned to the Union by a bloody bayonet, for now.

    Yes, Texas can leave, as can any of the other 49, if the people are up to the sacrifice if it comes to that.

    Remember the words on the flag of the Second Regiment of South Carolina of 1775- Libertas Potior Vita – Freedom is More Powerful Than Life.
    Also, those of John Stark of New Hampshire – Live Free or Die. Death is not the worst of Evils.

    Or the Swiss – Better to Die on your feet than to Serve on your Knees.

    Will Texas or another State pull out?
    Depends on the Mettle of her people.

    A Farmer

  24. Everyone as an individual needs to “succeed” from the psychopathic control freak US government. I myself became a run away slave over 35 years ago. My motto is GIVE ME LIBERTY OR I’LL GIVE YOU YOUR DEATH. Seems that is the way we need to look at all of this dog and pony show crap.

  25. The USofA shortly will shatter into a series of independent nations, some republics, some like the already Marxist Republic of CA, hopefully with free travel between the formerly USofA. It happened in the formerly USSR, the most brutally enforced police state in in modern history, save Pol Pot’s monstrous murder-state which killed off two-thirds of its total population whilst creating the People’s Paradise of Marxist conformity. They’re still burying all the stiffs, which at least yielded highly rich top-soil from all the decomposing bodies.

    • The proposed legislation would put the question of leaving the US up for vote in a state wide election. If the vote is positive for secession the the State government would be authorized to negotiations with the Federal government for terms and conditions for a timely “Texit”.

      • State Governments do not need to negotiate with ANYBODY to leave the union. They do not need permission.

        Your statement implies that the Federal Gov. Outranks the States. Thats Backwards. The states created the feds. That means we have more authority than they do.

        The powers the states DELEGATED to the Feds are extreamely limited and can be revoked. Under our Christian Common Law, the higest authority in the United States is the County Sherriff, (within his/her county only).

      • At least we don’t have Dominion voting machines but the problem would be keeping the Yankee and global influence out. I would impose strict qualifications in order to vote such as legal resident for at least 5 years. In the beginning, voters were landowners with a literal stake in the outcome.

  26. actually, for all practical purposes any state can leave the union.
    simply refuse any money, support from feds.
    stop paying money to the feds.
    simply nullify all unconstitutional laws and regs pushed upon it by the feds.
    and control it’s own borders.

  27. I’m a California resident and feel the pain of Texans, but I have concerns about Texit, and have an alternative suggestion. This might be a little long.

    Texit takes away 38 red electoral votes and many representatives from the states that will remain. I think it will accelerate the destabilization of the rest of America. This means it’s unlikely that the nation on the Texas northern border (US) will ever have a conservative leadership again. As Democrats become more unhinged and vindictive, I worry that the US will impede Texas airspace, interstate highways/rail, and access to the Gulf. Not to mention that Texas’ hostile northern neighbor (the US) will still have an extraordinary military and Armageddon-level nuclear weapons. The UN and most other nations abhor a truly free people, so you might just as well name the seceded Texas nation “New Israel”, because that’s how you’ll be treated by the rest of the world.

    My idea is that we fight like never before to reclaim the House, Senate, and Presidency for conservatives. Instead of conservatives, it will be the progressive left wanting to secede. I say we make it easy for them and tempt them with CalExit. I will gladly move from my home state of California and give it to the progressives and allow them to secede. They can have San Francisco, LA, the beaches, the Pacific ocean, the mild weather, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley. It should be very tempting to them. However, they will have to give up their US citizenship.

    Once Calitopia is born, that’s 55 blue electoral votes and many representatives that will disappear making the rest of the United States more likely to retain conservative national leadership. Not to mention, the mass exodus of liberals from all other states to Calitopia will help turn other states red. Bonus, we get to keep the military and the nukes (Calitopia doesn’t get to keep any).

    It is inevitable that the liberal agenda will eventually destroy Calitopia as it spirals into debt and squalor. Homelessness, wild fires from forest mismanagement and drought will ebb away at the coastal nation. While Calitopia is heading into ruin, conservatives can restore the rest of the US fixing the economy, education, and the media. And once Calitopia is destitute, a restored America can simply buy it back at a discount (or take it by force since we still have the military). Either way, once Calitopia becomes California once again, all of the citizens of Calitopia can become legal US residents, but they can never become full citizens and will never have the right to vote in any election.

  28. My wife is a native Texan as our my Children. I have lived in Texas since 1973 when I went to West Texas State University. If Texas decides to Secede from the United States I will support Texas in every way possible. GOD BLESS TEXAS!

  29. Rep. Biedermann excepted, the Republican Party of Texas will be the single biggest impediment Texit. As a resident of Texas I have seen how the cowardly GOP neutralizes and siphons what remains of the independent spirit of this state. Sam Houston would not recognize the likes of Greg Abbott and George P Bush.

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