Cultural Undertones in HSR Opposition

Kuff reports that opposition to the Dallas-Houston Shinkansen has coalesced at NoTexasCentral.com. And I have to say, I’m intrigued by what they’ve done with the logotype.

The standard TCR roundel consists of a stylized white Texas with a red line representing the railway. The state is represented by a neutral color, while the rail line line is red, representing speed and vitality. The Symbolism Wiki informs us that dark red is associated with vigor, leadership, and willpower; all appropriate connotations for a 220mph train. A blue background ties the logo into the Texas state flag.

The standard TCR roundel.

By contrast, the opposition renders Texas in the same dark red, and uses dark blue to represent the rail line. The color palette remains identical, and one can be forgiven for not noticing the difference. But the symbolism is clear: Texas is a red state, and the rail line is a blue interloper.

No Texas Central’s version.

This ought not to be the case; HSR’s core ridership base is the professional classes, and a privately-financed train could be seen as by and for the capitalists. But tribal boundaries don’t always hew precisely to economic ideology.

I’ve previously argued that cultural bias against the other tribe’s preferred transport is often unconscious. But here, it’s pretty overt.

3 thoughts on “Cultural Undertones in HSR Opposition”

  1. I’m not sure that the original one is independent of political meaning either. After all, everyone knows Texas is a “red state”, so things which are Texan are red, and things which are un-Texan are blue. The supporters of HSR make it red, because good Texans support red, and the opponents make it blue, because good Texans know that blue is the enemy.

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