Houston Matters

What’s the Value of Having an Official State Crustacean and Other State Symbols?

During the 2015 Texas legislative session, lawmakers passed more than 5,600 bills, and tackled issues ranging from education to gun rights to abortion and beyond. But that’s not all lawmakers do. They also pass resolutions establishing state symbols and nicknames. This past session, House Concurrent Resolution 78 established the cowboy hat as the official state […]

During the 2015 Texas legislative session, lawmakers passed more than 5,600 bills, and tackled issues ranging from education to gun rights to abortion and beyond.

But that’s not all lawmakers do. They also pass resolutions establishing state symbols and nicknames. This past session, House Concurrent Resolution 78 established the cowboy hat as the official state hat. Lawmakers also designated the Lone Star State as our official state nickname. Dripping Springs was designated the wedding capital of Texas, Jasper’s the butterfly capital. And the Texas Gulf shrimp is now the official state crustacean, while the western honeybee is now the official state pollinator. Yes. Really.

While such designations may, on the surface, seem like a grand waste of time, they’re not. We learn what impact such state symbols, nicknames and designations can have on communities as we talk with A.J. Mistretta from the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Seneca McAdams from the Texas Independence Trail Region, which works to increase tourism to cultural and historic sites in rural Texas communities.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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