A Fort Worth council member has suggested sidelining the city’s famous logo, “Molly” the longhorn, sparking a debate about how Cowtown views itself and markets itself.
Brian Byrd, a newly elected councilman who represents Southwest Fort Worth, said he is concerned by a recent study on economic development.
“The data is real clear,” Byrd said in an interview Thursday. “We’re having a hard time attracting Fortune 500 companies to Fort Worth and the question is, well, why?”
He noted the study found that people across the country think Fort Worth is much smaller than it really is. In fact, it is the nation’s 16th largest city.
The longhorn logo — a unique symbol of the city’s Western heritage — is seen on everything from police cars to water towers in Fort Worth.
Byrd said he loves Molly and the “cowboys and culture” of Fort Worth but suggested the logo and the marketing campaign are outdated, especially in the eyes of business leaders looking to relocate.
“I don’t think the Fortune 500 companies care too much about it,” he said. “I think it makes us irrelevant in a lot of ways.”
While many city leaders seem to agree that a new push is needed to market the city, nobody else has suggested pushing Molly aside.
“Molly is not going anywhere. Molly will stay,” Mayor Betsy Price said.
The mayor said the city can rebrand itself as modern and stay “Cowtown” at the same time.
“Everybody loves Molly,” Price said. “The unique thing about Fort Worth is we still do have a wonderful western heritage and we are still that major city that has a small-town feel.”