Purple paint means 'no trespassing' in Texas

By Cara Prichard | cprichard@ketknbc.com

Published 08/18 2015 06:32PM

Updated 08/18 2015 07:49PM

While visiting the countryside of Texas, have you ever seen trees and fence posts with unique markings the color purple? It's not backwoods graffiti,  it means no trespassing.
 
"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."
 
It started out in Arkansas in 1989 as a way for property owners to notify the public of private land and in 1997, the state of Texas adopted the law.
 
"The reason the Texas legislature did that is they were trying to keep landowners from constantly having to replace signs," said Jonathan Kennedy, owner of EastTexasLands.com. "In Texas as we know, people like to take target practice at signs so they are having to replace them frequently." 
 
Kennedy says right when it was created, the law was that land owners that used the purple paint also had to put up a sign stating what it meant.
 
"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." 
 
"To me the color purple means a movie," one Tyler resident admitted. "That's the only thing I know that's the color purple."
 
The law says the marks are vertical lines at least eight inches long and one inch wide, placed between three and five feet from the ground. They must also be easily visible. 
 
"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. 
 
For the people who live in rural areas it's not uncommon to spot, even if you are colorblind.
 
"I see it a lot," said one Palestine resident. "I'm colorblind but I can still see that color because it is very dark and definitely purple." 
 
Kansas and Missouri also use purple paint, but at least 10 other states use colors from orange to lime green. 
 
"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." 
 
 

 

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