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Bolo Tie

Texas State Tie

Green bolo tie; photo by Prizmatic on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution).

Official State Tie of Texas

Texas designated the bolo tie (also spelled bola) as the official state tie in 2007. Arizona and New Mexico also recognize this unique southwestern neckwear as a state symbol. All Cultural Heritage Symbols

House Concurrent Resolution

WHEREAS, The State of Texas has customarily recognized a variety of official symbols as tangible representations of the state's culture and natural history; and

WHEREAS, The heritage of the Lone Star State is closely associated with images of cowboys and the western frontier, and these elements inform several of the current Texas symbols, including rodeo, the official state sport, and the longhorn, the state large mammal; and

WHEREAS, A singular fashion associated with the American West is the bolo tie, also known as the bola tie, which is distinguished by its decorative clasp that fastens a length of cord or string; a staple of the western-wear fashions sported by a large number of Texans, the bolo tie conjures up the romance of the pioneer era and speaks to the determination and independence that figure so prominently in Lone Star lore; and

WHEREAS, Patented in 1959 by an Arizona silversmith named Victor Cedarstaff, who was said to have gotten the inspiration for the design while on horseback, the bolo tie has been traced to older elements of ranching culture and the people of the western United States; the name derives from the bola or boleadora--a lariat with weights at the end that was used by South American cowboys to ensnare cattle; stylistically, it is similar to the string or plantation ties popular in the era when Texas was being settled, and it also resembles a type of tie worn by Native Americans in the early 1900s, which consisted of a bandanna or string fastened by a silver concho ornament; and

WHEREAS, The bolo tie remains popular among many American Indians, and intricate designs fashioned by Native American craftspeople using silver, turquoise, and other materials stand as some of the finest examples of bolo tie artistry; these factors make the neckwear a poignant testament to this region's original inhabitants and also to the many people of American Indian descent who are today Texas residents; and

WHEREAS, A fashion accessory that can be personalized to reflect the wearer's taste and interests, the bolo tie is well matched to the individualism that is so much a part of the Texan identity; in selecting or designing a clasp, bolo tie wearers are able to express their personal flair; moreover, the selection of a bolo over a standard tie can suggest that the wearer refuses to be bound by convention and relishes the freedom to exhibit a distinctive sense of style even as they maintain a dignified, formal appearance; and

WHEREAS, The bolo tie symbolizes both the state's iconic western culture and the originality of its residents, and it is indeed appropriate that this handsome and unique apparel receive special legislative recognition; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the 80th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby designate the bolo tie as the official State Tie of Texas.