For sale: A Texan symbol of defiance (AUDIO)

On Oct. 2, 1835, a small group of rebellious colonists in what is now South Texas defied Mexican rule with the memorable battle cry: “Come and take it!” The dare referred to a small brass cannon, but it became a declaration of Texas’ independence and grit as famous as “Remember the Alamo.” Today, you can see a twist of the historic slogan on the Come and Wash It Laundromat and Come and Style It beauty salon, both in the town of Gonzales.

What chaps some townfolk, though, is how activists and marketers far from Gonzales are lifting the slogan with no appreciation of its origins associated the first shot of the Texas revolution. They think it’s been cheapened — and they want it back.

“A lot of people take it and co-opt it without understanding the reason behind it,” says Erik McCowan, a reporter with the Gonzales Inquirer newspaper who recently wrote a column on the topic. “I think a lot of that has to do with just plain ignorance. People fought and were ready to die over this flag.”

[ NPR ]