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Icons of the Lone Star State: The Legendary Texas Rangers
In 1823, a band of rugged lawmen was formed to bring order to the wild frontier lands of Texas. Armed with little more than their courage and a legendary five-point star badge, this elite force took on bandits, cattle thieves, and fugitives across the untamed territory. Nearly two centuries later, the Texas Rangers remain symbols of Lone Star State justice and pride. From taming the Old West to modern-day investigations, the Rangers' history is as expansive as the state they serve.
Introduction to the Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers rank among the most legendary law enforcement agencies in American history. Sometimes called "Los Diablos Tejanos" or the Texan Devils, they have upheld law and order in the Lone Star State and beyond since 1823. The Rangers' iconic five-point star badge has made them global symbols of Texas justice and state pride.
Origins and Early Role
Formed when Texas was still part of Mexico, the Rangers initially served as frontier cavalry fighting Indigenous tribes and bandits as early Texas Rangers helped tame the wild frontier. As Texas society formalized, the Rangers transitioned into a detective force upholding local and state laws, especially in rural areas. Their daring exploits battling outlaws cemented the Rangers' reputation during Texas' early Wild West days.
The Famous Star Badge
The Rangers' distinctive badge, a five-pointed Lone Star emblazoned with the state seal, is globally associated with Texas law enforcement. First adopted in 1845 when Texas became a U.S. state, the star badge and the phrase "One Riot, One Ranger" represent the Rangers' courage and toughness when facing overwhelming odds. The star badges were originally individually gifted to Rangers by prominent Texans.
Evolution into a Modern Agency
Over the decades, the Texas Rangers evolved into a more modern professional agency, diversifying their ranks. They spearheaded innovations like two-way radios and new forensic techniques, while continuing to combat widespread crimes as an elite state police force. Today the agency investigates major felonies, public corruption, officer-involved shootings, and border security threats.
With their legendary beginning taming Texas' wild frontier, their famous Lone Star badge, and their continuing public service, the Texas Rangers remain iconic symbols of justice and state pride in the Lone Star State after nearly 200 years.
Texas Ranger Bolo Tie
Official Texas Rangers Website
Texas State Historical Association - Texas Rangers
Texas Historical Commission - Texas Rangers
TPR - The Source - Texas Rangers Topic
Legends of America - Texas Rangers History
Texas Monthly - Texas Rangers Articles