Texas State Fair icon Big Tex will be sporting some updated western wear that pays tribute to the recently fallen and injured Dallas area police.
On September 9, the State Fair revealed Big Tex’s new outfit on the grounds of the Cotton Bowl to help promote the 2016 theme of “Celebrating Texas Agriculture”, according to WFAA. Most notable is a large badge and ribbon which is displayed on the greeter’s shirt to honor the fallen police that were attacked during the July Black Lives Matter protest.
Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation (DFOF) Sergeant Demetrick Pennie generally lauded the effort in an interview with Breitbart Texas.
“We’re honored by the symbolism and support for our fallen,” Pennie said.
Though the DFOF was appreciative of the gesture, it argued that residents should not forget that local police need more support: “the City should take a step further and pay police officers for their hard work to show its gratitude as well.”
Despite recent proposals outlined by the City of Dallas to raise pay and add new officers to the force, police associations like the DFOF have criticized local officials for misplacing priorities on the issue. Officer groups argue that the $37 million plan is a “catch-up” strategy to pay out pre-existing contractual agreements, according to KTVT. Instead, an across the board five percent pay raise would help stem the loss of officers to other departments in north Texas.
Dallas Police Association Vice President Steve Myers told the local outlet that he can see much larger paychecks elsewhere.
“I think the department is at a crisis level. We need a drastic pay raise … I can go to the Plano police department and make $22,000 more. I can go to Grand Prairie and Richardson and make at least $15,000 more.”
Big Tex is not the first icon to wade into the issue of honoring the fallen and injured Dallas area first responders. Breitbart Texas recently reported on an effort by the Dallas Cowboys to wear helmet decals to show their support. The “Arm-in-Arm” symbol was rejected by NFL officials shortly before preseason play began.
The State Fair greeter made national headlines in 2012 after it accidentally caught fire.
Big Tex’s new threads were manufactured in Fort Worth by Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company. All things being bigger in Texas, his hat is 95 gallons and boots are a size 96. Williamson-Dickie notes that the denim jeans weigh 100 pounds, requiring 100 yards of fabric.
The Texas State Fair is scheduled to open its gates to the public on September 30.
Logan Churchwell is the Assistant Editor and a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. You can follow him on Twitter @LCChurchwell.