Iconic Cowboy Symbol – The American Cowboy Hat

July 28, 2022

Cowboy symbols represent the cowboy spirit of independence and self-reliance. A cowboy lives what he believes and does not worry about conforming to anyone’s mold. Cowboys have substance, strength, and courage. Hats, boots, spurs, saddles, and horses are symbols of the culture and evidence hard work, horsemanship, and individualism. The cowboy spirit preserves the principles our country was founded upon. Cowboy stories capture situations, motivations, and outcomes. Their stories have a profound impact, engaging us emotionally, building trust and inspiring us to action ourselves.

The cowboy hat, recognizable throughout the world, portrays an imaginative story before one even knows the person wearing it. Cowboys and Indians magazine told a story about Keith Maddox of American Hat Company. Maddox recalled, “I was checking into the Marriott Marquis in New York City when the front desk clerk admired my hat and commented on it.” The clerk asked if I’d like an upgrade, and of course I replied, ‘Yes, that would be nice.’ As he was typing on the computer, he said, ‘Mr. Maddox, you’re going to call me in about 15 minutes and thank me.’ When I found my room, it was a beautiful suite with three separate entrances and a great view — thanks to my hat!”

When Maddox bought American Hat Company he brought the company’s history with him, including the priceless, almost-century-old equipment and hat blocks — and a certain longtime employee named Andre Trevino. The story goes that when he was 12, Trevino saw a bag in the company’s parking lot. It was a bag of money that belonged to Bubba Silver. Trevino picked up the bag, walked it into the building, and returned it. “I don’t want a reward,” Trevino told Silver, “I want a job.”  Maddox believed in cowboys and all they stand for. He devoted his life to the art of the cowboy hat. "We make hats the way they were made years ago. We don’t skip any steps or cut any corners.”

His story embodies why the cowboy hat is an important cowboy symbol and continues to be an icon of The Cowboy and His Hat.



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