AUSTIN, Texas - In this session, the Texas Legislature is tackling issues ranging from election laws to police reform and redistricting. But on Wednesday, the Senate Administration Committee will debate some more lighthearted legislation—aimed at honoring Texas heritage.
One bill being considered would designate the Bowie Knife as the official state knife of Texas. The Bowie Knife is a fighting knife designed in the early 1800s for notorious knife fighter Jim Bowie.
Bowie moved from Louisiana to Texas and became a leader in the Texas Revolution. He died at the Alamo in 1836. Notably, a bill identical to this was vetoed by Gov. Abbott back in 2019.
Another bill would recognize the 1847 Colt Walker Pistol as the official handgun of Texas. The gun was designed as a collaboration between inventor Samuel Colt and Texas Ranger Captain Samuel Hamilton Walker. It was the most powerful handgun of its time, and thousands of Colt Walkers were used in the American war with Mexico between 1846 and 1848.
A third bill would give bragging rights to Fort Davis in Western Texas—establishing it as the "highest town in Texas." Technically, Fort Davis is not a town—it’s an unincorporated community with a population of just over 1200. But it is the county seat of Jeff Davis County, and geographically it has the highest elevation above sea level of any county seat in Texas, at 4900 feet.
Finally, the committee will consider a bill to establish San Marcos as the official Mermaid Capital of Texas. After all, San Marcos has installed ten mermaid statues as a nod to the city’s history.
It is also home to the headquarters of the Mermaid Society of Texas, and since 2016 San Marcos celebrates the Mermaid Splash Festival every September—featuring a mermaid parade through Downtown. If approved, the "Mermaid Capital" designation would last for ten years.