Monday, January 18, 2010

Out in the South Texas Town of Laredo ...

... They’ve got a hodge-podge for their coat of arms;
The arms have a bridge and a Spanish cathedral
And seven flags to display all their charms.

Hmm, that scans almost as well as the original Marty Robbins song, "[Out in the West Texas Town of] El Paso".  But Laredo, Texas is not out in west Texas, it's down south.  In fact, if I left my house and got onto I-35 and headed due south and slightly west through Austin and San Antonio, in a little over six hours (according to Yahoo! Maps) I'd come to Laredo, down on the border with Mexico.  (For those of you not all that familiar with my home state, Texas really is very large.  My favorite example is that when you are driving west on I-10 leaving Louisiana and enter the state of Texas, there is a sign there that tells you how far it is to El Paso (in westernmost Texas) and Los Angeles (on the Pacific coast of the North American continent).  El Paso is halfway to Los Angeles.  But I digress.)

Laredo, like some other Texas towns, has what may be described as a coat of arms.  It contains, as you can see, on the dexter side (to the left as you look at it) the seven flags (unlike Texas itself, which can only claim six) that have flown over it at one time or another in its history: Spain, France, Mexico, the United States of America, the Republic of the Rio Grande, the Republic of Texas, and the Confederate States of America.  On the sinister side (to the right as you look at it), are a couple of local landmarks: the international bridge over the Rio Grande River* to Mexico, and San Agustin Cathedral.  It's hard to make out in this image, but I believe the date in base is 1755, the date of the city's founding.

In any case, it's a truly amazing "coat of arms"/logo.

* Yes, I know that saying "Rio Grande River" is like saying "big river river".  But so is saying "Mississippi River"; Mississippi means "big river", too.  Apparently, there are a lot of "big rivers" in this country.  ;-^)

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