Don't mess with Texas

Texas Department of Transportation

“Don’t Mess with Texas” is the phrase that has come to symbolize the Lone Star State, more than any other slogan. It’s a source of pride to the state’s residents, and it’s used by people all over the world to poke fun at the bravado and swagger of Texans. But older Texans will remember when the phrase was merely a slogan used to remind Texans not to litter on the highway.

Don’t Mess With Texas and Don’t Remember the Alamo

Sep 23, 2013
Jamie Golden / texastribune.org

The Texas Department of Transportation owns the federally registered trademark on the phrase, “Don’t mess with Texas.”  The slogan was coined in 1985 by Tim McClure, a native Texan and a founder of GSD&M, an advertising agency based in Austin.  The agency was hired by the state to help its antilittering campaign reach the worst highway offenders — men under 25.