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Sunday, April 18, 2021

‘Don’t Mess With Texas’ boots

Justin Boot Co. wants to do a little trash talkin’. No, you don’t need to earmuff the kids. The Fort Worth footwear company’s new collections includes the Texas rallying cry – “Don’t Mess With Texas.” “Don’t Mess with Texas” footwear products are available in all black and cognac damania with a dark blue upper for men and women and in western specialty stores across the country. The boots retail between approximately $280 and $580.

The “Don’t Mess With Texas” anti-littering slogan began in 1985 when the Texas Department of Transportation asked GSD&M for some help on a campaign against highway trash. The agency then spent about $20 million a year cleaning up tossed out fast-food containers and beer cans. The ad debuted Jan. 1, 1986 during the 50th Annual Cotton Bowl Classic. Texas blues master Stevie Ray Vaughn, playing his famous Fender Stratocaster sang “The Eyes of Texas” and then ended with the line “Don’t Mess With Texas.”

Suddenly, taking care of your trash became cooler than wearing string ties and a variety of Texas artists, from Asleep at the Wheel to Lyle Lovett have recorded the famous slogan.  And the cost of cleanup on Texas highways? It dropped too, even as the state began adding people faster than anyone could count.

The slogan has been awarded with a plaque on the Madison Avenue Walk of Fame and a place in the Advertising Hall of Fame. Now, you can wear it with pride on your Texas-made boots.  

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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