The Texas tradition of homecoming mums

Everything really is bigger in Texas.


A collection of mums from City Editor Rebecca’s family.

Photo by FTWtoday

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Homecoming season is here — and if you’re from Texas, you know it’s more than just football and alumni events. Homecoming mums have been a tradition in Texas since the early 1900s and have since become a statement-making hallmark of high school life in the Lone Star State.

Here’s a look back at the tradition + where to get one made in Fort Worth.

What is a homecoming mum?

For those of you who are new to the area, you might be wondering what we’re talking about. Mums are considered a token of affection — typically given to a girl by her date in honor of homecoming celebrations. Traditionally, students will wear a mum to school on homecoming Friday, the football game, and other alumni events.

The start of a Texas tradition

According to Texas Highways, the first mums were worn at homecoming in Missouri in 1911. The tradition became popular in Texas in the 1930s when Baylor University hosted the first-ever homecoming celebration in the state.

Back in the day, a mum was a simple chrysanthemum with a few ribbons that would be pinned to a girl’s clothing. But nowadays, the gaudier the better.

Real flowers have been replaced with artificial ones so students can have the mum as a keepsake. Accessories include school-colored ribbons, stuffed animals, bells, battery-operated lights, feathers, and different trinkets highlighting the student’s hobbies. Although not as elaborate as a girl’s mum, boys will receive a garter to wear on their arm with ribbons and other smaller trinkets similar to a mum.


City Editors Rebecca and Kate wearing their high school mums.

Photo by FTWtoday

A blooming business

Today, Texans can turn to professional mum makers to create their homecoming masterpiece. Depending on size and accessories, mums can range anywhere from $10 to upwards of $600yes, really $600. Watch this video of students detailing how much their mums cost.

If you’re looking to get one made, here are a few local shops around Fort Worth.

If you attended high school in Texas and have a photo of you wearing your mumshare it with us. We might feature it in a future edition of the newsletter.

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