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How the Shape of Texas Shapes Our Idea of Texas

David Woo
Dallas Morning News

We hear a lot of stories about how Texas shapes the wider world. From oil policy to cowboy lore, the Lone Star State has an outsized impact on planet earth. But last week The New York Times published an editorial on how the shape of Texas shapes the conversation about Texas.

It’s carved onto the sides of highway overpasses and on T-shirts and in magazine ads. You can eat waffles shaped like Texas and dive into Texas-shaped pools.

Bud Kennedy of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram explains: “The shape’s not perfect,” he says. “But it’s not some boring box shape. It’s a great brand, and not just on cattle.” Manny Fernandez of the Times writes that Texas is so big that it needs one easy symbol. “And,” he adds, “a ‘T’ or a cowboy boot or a chicken-fried steak didn’t quite sum it up.” . . . “[The shape] somehow encapsulates, with a few right angles and big bends, a state of 27 million people.”