August 11 2022
It’s no surprise that the livestock trade has influenced the culture of Cowtown, particularly with cattle brands that pop up all over the place — and not just on the business side of a cow. But these funny symbols can often be a language of their own, so we’re cracking the code with this quick guide to cattle brands.
Local cattle brands are on display at the 1902 Stockyard Exchange Building. | Photo by @FTWtoday
Bit o’ history
Livestock branding dates back to the ancient Egyptians but has had a long history in Texas. Ranches developed custom brands to help differentiate their herds from others, often using the owner’s initials or part of the land’s history in the symbol. Variations on the letters helped brands stand out.
Let’s break it down
Brands are read left to right, top to bottom, or outside to inside, and the orientation and form of the letter or number make up part of its name. Brands are often combinations of characters and symbols and can also be identified by shapes like diamonds, circles, bars, rails + more.
Backward characters are “reversed.”
- Leaning or tipping characters are “tumbling.”
- Upside-down characters are “crazy.”
- Characters lying on their sides are “lazy.”
Curved characters with rounded angles are “running.”
- Curvy dashes on either side are “flying.”
- Bottom serifs angled to the right are “walking.”
- Bottom serifs angled to the left are “dragged.”
Characters set on top of a quarter circle are “rocking.”
- Characters attached to quarter circles at the top are “hanging” or “swinging.”
Interested in a custom logo? The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association created a guide to help people design their own brands.
King Ranch Saddle Shop in the Stockyards. | Photo by @FTWtoday
Brands in the wild
Brands are still used in the cattle industry but have been adopted for other businesses — particularly those with Western themes — like restaurants, western wear stores, and honky tonks. Here are a few places to spot brands around Cowtown.
Lazy J Ranch Wear, 2405 N. Main St. | Don’t sleep on this northside boot store.
- Riscky’s Steakhouse, 120 E. Exchange Ave. | Check out the stories behind the ranch brands inside the menu.
King Ranch Saddle Shop, 128 E. Exchange Ave. | Stop by for leather goods featuring the famous Running W brand.
Click the button below for more history of Texas brands.
Share this story with your friends and come up with a brand for your dream ranch.
Can you read these brands?
Now that you’re a brand-readin’ pro, test your skills with the quiz below.
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Early Birds | Mon., June 20 | 8:30-10:30 a.m. | Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, 9601 Fossil Ridge Rd. | $5+ | Bird enthusiasts are coming together to enjoy nature hikes + bird sites. 🪶
Summer Solstice | Tues., June 21 | 1-2 p.m. | Fort Worth Public Library - Northside, 2800 Stark St. | Free | Kids in kindergarten through 5th grade can create their own sundials + shadow art as the sun reaches its full strength. ☀️
Yoga in the Park | Tues., June 21 | 5:30-6:15 p.m. | Burnett Park, 501 W. Seventh St. | Free | Newbies + yogi masters alike are invited to join the weekly class in the heart of downtown. Pro tip: bring your own mat.
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! | Tues., June 21-Sun., June 26 | 7:30 p.m. | Bass Performance Hall | $55+ | See the iconic show like you’ve never seen before — reimagined for the 21st century. 🎭
Distillery Tour, Tasting + Cocktail | Wed., June 22 | 5-6 p.m. | Blackland Distillery, 2616 Weisenberger St. | $30 | Kick back in the cocktail lounge + enjoy a tasting flight of ultra-premium spirits. 🥃
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Meet laundry’s new power couple. | Photo provided by Dirty Labs
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- 100º | Mostly sunny | 20% chance of rain
On Saturday, Opal Lee led hundreds on her annual a 2.5-mile Walk for Freedom to commemorate the two-and-a-half years that Texas slaves waited for freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation. After the walk, Mayor Mattie Parker announced that June 18 will be named Fort Worth Opal's Walk For Freedom Day. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
Eighteen-year-old Yuchan Lim from South Korea was crowned the 2022 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition gold medalist on Saturday night after receiving one of the longest standing ovations in Cliburn history. Anna Geniushene (31), from Russia, and Dmytro Choni (28), from Ukraine, took silver and gold, respectively. 🎹
It's a good time to be a student — a TCU medical student, that is. An anonymous donor paid the entire class' tuition for the TCU School of Medicine class of 2024 for the 2022-2023 school year. The donation covered tuition for 60 students estimated at over $63,000 each. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
Put up your dukes — a new boxing gym opens in the basement of the Victory Arts Center (801 West Shaw St.) tomorrow, June 21. Sanctuary Boxing Gym is a pay-what-you-can safe space for exercise and wellbeing owned by Cryus Moshrefi, who trained at Mohammad Ali’s home gym. 🥊 (Fort Worth Magazine)
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Fort Worth Police Officer Sergio Dominquez received the Medal of Valor at the 2022 State of Texas Law Enforcement Achievement Awards. This award honors his bravery + heroic actions during a homicide threat in 2018. Read his full story.
Las Vegas-based developer Camino Verde Group purchased Antigua Village Apartments at 5320 E. Rosedale St. The 152-unit apartment complex in Stop Six will be rebranded Apex Apartments, the company’s first holding in Texas. 🏢 (Fort Worth Report)
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ICYMI: Arlington’s AT&T Stadium will host six games in the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Get ready sports fans because the DFW area is among the 11 U.S. cities — alongside Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta, Kansas City, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, New York/New Jersey — to welcome the 48-team tournament that could bring as many as 100,000 international fans to each game.
DYK: 2026 will be the first time North Texas has hosted a World Cup match since the 1994 tournament at the Cotton Bowl. FIFA tickets aren’t on sale yet, but in the meantime read up on a new soccer complex proposed by the city.
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