Purple fences are popping up all over the state of Texas and it’s not just a vibrant color trend for the upcoming spring. According to Western Journalism, the practice of painting fences purple has a significant meaning that sends a message on behalf of landowners looking to make their sentiments of trespassers known. It has been reported that the color is being used as a visual form of communication to tell trespassers that they are not allowed on private property. In 1997, the law was passed in Texas and now it’s becoming more of a widespread practice.
Initially, the law required landowners to use signs in addition to painting their fences purple. That law was implemented to ensure trespassers unfamiliar with the purple color’s significance would still be aware of its meaning. But, apparently, the rule regarding signs expired just one year after the purple fences law was passed because of another problem landowners began facing. Although trespassing signs were visible on properties, those who violated the law could easily ignore regulations by simply removing the signs. So, lawmakers adopted a more permanent tactic to ensure trespassers had no excuses to break the law arguing over the visibility of signs.
“It holds the same weight and the same law violations apply,” said Prairie View A&M Extension Agent, Ashley Pellerin. “It’s no trespassing period. The no trespassing purple, a lot of people who are color blind, they can actually see the color purple so I believe that’s why it was chosen,” said Pellerin.
The “no trespassing” color has reportedly been enforced by Texas legislature as a way to keep landowners from dealing with the hassle of constantly replacing signs, according to EastTexasLands.com. Jonathan Kennedy, the owner of the website, recently released a statement detailing the reason behind the creative visual tactic of purple fences. Kennedy also explained that purple fences are to be painted a certain way to make the significance more distinct. Purple fences are to be painted in vertically with lines approximately “eight inches long and one inch wide, placed between three and five feet from the ground,” according to KETK News.
“The reason the Texas legislature did that is they were trying to keep landowners from constantly having to replace signs,” said Kennedy. “In Texas as we know, people like to take target practice at signs so they are having to replace them frequently. The funny part to me is that rule expired one year later,” he said. “Fast forward to now and still a lot of people don’t know what it means but it is still a law.”
— TravelKS (@TravelKS) February 12, 2016
The purple fences practice, which began in Arkansas in 1987, has reportedly become popular in a number of states. Western Journalism reports Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Maine, Florida, and Kansas also use purple paint on fences to distinctively mark territory. Although Idaho, Arizona, and Montana also use paint for territorial purposes, they reportedly use orange paint instead of purple.
Although the purple fence practice has proven to be beneficial to some landowners, unfortunately, there are still times where the distinctive paint is still disregarded. Problems usually arise with people hunting or fishing on private property.
“People hunting or fishing without the landowner’s consent is a common issue,” said Texas Game Warden Brad Clark. “Often they ignore posted signs and purple paint.”
Do you think painting fences purple is effective enough to diminish trespassing? Share your thoughts.
[Image via YouTube Screen Capture]