Ask The Marshall

Did most Texas Rangers not wear badges until after the turn of the 20th century?

Bob Dean
Castroville, Texas

The pre-Civil War Texas Rangers were more an Indian fighting and military outfit, so they did not need to wear badges.

After the Civil War, many Texas Rangers felt they still did not need badges; merely announcing to outlaws or renegade Indians that you were the law was enough. Others felt a shiny badge made a tempting target. Even more, given the low pay, the Texas Rangers could hardy afford to buy badges (and the agency wasn’t providing them).

Nevertheless, some Texas Rangers did wear badges. The first of these appeared around 1875, often made from Mexican pesos and cut into a star reminiscent of Texas’s Lone Star flag.

If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at

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