[From The San Antonio Express-News, Feb. 9, 2008]
Why do Texans love the shape of Texas?
State easy to recognize and market
By SARA INÉS CALDERÓN San Antonio Express-news
Feb. 9, 2008, 5:24PM
Texans really, really love their state.
That’s easy to see from the cookies, earrings, logos, sunglasses and even tattoos that take its shape.
“Texas was a republic for 10 years, so that enables people to romanticize Texas,” said Richard V. Francaviglia, who studied this phenomenon in his book, The Shape of Texas.
The state’s shape lends itself to marketing. With so much space in the middle, there’s plenty of room to put a jewel on a Texas-shaped earring or a business name on a logo, Francaviglia said. It’s also a very familiar symbol, looking almost like a star or a cross, he said.
“The state of Texas looks cool,” said Marcos Diaz, manager of Platinum Piercing and Tattoos in San Antonio, where the image is inked regularly.
Diaz said students or military personnel leaving for other states often want a Texas tattoo to remember home and project an attitude.
“They want everybody to know they’re from Texas,” he said. This zeal also comes from Texans’ patriotic loyalty, Francaviglia said.
“I think that Texans are rather obsessed with their history. Therefore, history and geography go well together when you can use the shape so readily,” he said.
The pride can almost take on spiritual proportions. When Texans create things, live with things or even eat things in the shape of the state, it’s almost as though they are internalizing Texas itself, Francaviglia said.
“You not only live in Texas,” he said. “You are taking Texas into you.”