Topic: U.S. Roads/Texas
Don't Mess with Texas is a slogan for a campaign aimed at reducing littering on Texas roadways by the Texas Department of Transportation. The phrase "Don't Mess with Texas" is prominently shown on road signs on major highways, television, radio and in print advertisements. The campaign is credited with reducing litter on Texas highways roughly 72% between 1987 and 1990. The campaign's target market was 18- to 35-year-old males, which was statistically shown to be the most likely to litter. While the slogan was not originally intended to become a statewide cultural phenomenon, it did.
Beyond its immediate role in reducing litter, the slogan has been popularly appropriated by Texans. The phrase has become "an identity statement, a declaration of Texas swagger". Though the origin of the slogan is not well known outside of Texas, it appears on countless items of tourist souvenirs. Since the phrase is a federally registered trademark, the department has tried at times to enforce its trademark rights with cease and desist letters, but has had very limited success. The slogan is the title of the book, Don’t Mess With Texas: The Story Behind the Legend.
"Don't Mess with Texas" has been awarded a plaque on the Madison Avenue Walk of Fame and a place in the Advertising Hall of Fame, a distinction given to only two slogans annually.
"Don't Mess with Texas" is also the official motto of the Virginia-class submarine USS Texas.
In 2011 the result of a public vote for the best "Don't Mess with Texas" ad over the last 25 was revealed, the winner was one created by the Commemorative Air Force (then called the Confederate Air Force). The ad involved the CAF's Boeing B-17 "Sentimental Journey" pursuing and retaliating against a truck from which trash was thrown.
- "Don't Mess with Texas" | 2020-04-21 | 218 Upvotes 190 Comments