Cattle Battle

In a state known for rodeos and livestock, it's hard to imagine that a dispute would arise over one additional cow. But that's just what has happened in Texas since Fort Worth, fondly known as "Cowtown," unveiled its new logo.
by | November 2001

In a state known for rodeos and livestock, it's hard to imagine that a dispute would arise over one additional cow. But that's just what has happened in Texas since Fort Worth, fondly known as "Cowtown," unveiled its new logo.

The controversy started when a resident telephoned City Hall to ask why Molly the Cow looked so much like the University of Texas' longtime mascot, Bevo the Longhorn. The caller alleged possible copyright infringements and noted that UT brings in significant revenue based on its prominent and popular steer.

The university supporters' gripe was not so much with the shape of the image as the color. Occasionally, on official city letterheads and coffee mugs, Molly appeared a distinctive burnt-orange, just like Bevo. City Attorney David Yett says that Molly is meant to be brown, just as she has been for years on the front of the Livestock Exchange Building in the Fort Worth Stockyards. But sometimes, in the course of Molly's conversion into a digital image, she turns out orange. "What looks brown on the screen prints out orange on the laser printer," Yett says.

In the end, Molly probably won't be put out to pasture. Lawyers for the city and university are in the process of working out an official compromise, whereby Molly can remain, as long as she stays brown. Quoting a fellow attorney, Yett sums up Fort Worth's response: "Down here in Texas, we do know the difference between a cow and a steer, and that's no bull."

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Anya Sostek | Former Correspondent | asostek@gmail.com