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Volume 1: Zapata - The Stories Behind the Naming of Our Buckles

  • 3 min read

Texas is not only our home but also a significant source of inspiration for many of our designs. Being Texans, we naturally take great pride in our heritage and roots. Our passion for our origins runs deep.

“When people purchase Clint Orms buckles, I want them to know they are getting a part of Texas, a part of the cowboy tradition, a hard day's work. Our main objective is to keep our Western heritage alive.”

- Clint Orms

Our belt buckle names draw inspiration from the vibrant history of Texas. Thus, each buckle shape in our collection is carefully named after one of the state’s 254 counties. 

Infographic listing fun facts about the 254 counties in Texas and where their names come from

    The Zapata History

    Located in the Rio Grande Valley, Zapata County as well as the city of Zapata are named in honor of the Republic of the Rio Grande cavalry commander, Colonel José Antonio de Zapata.

    The town was founded in 1894 by Col. Antonio Zapata, a Mexican-American revolutionary leader who fought for land rights for Mexican-Americans in Texas. The town was named in his honor, and his legacy is still celebrated to this day with an annual festival that features traditional music, dance, and food.

    If you're familiar with Texas, you might recall our complex history with our southern neighbors dating back to 1812. This particular Rio Grande county was once a focal point of various movements aiming for independence from Mexico and the creation of the Republic of the Rio Grande.

    Historic marker for Zapata County


    Colonel Zapata is most remembered for his loyalty and sacrifice during the Battle of Santa Rita de Morelos in March 1840. As the story goes, needing provisions to support the Republic’s troops, Antonio Zapata and 30 men rode into the town of Santa Rita de Morelos where Mexican General Arista's men soon surrounded them.

    Outnumbered by 1,800 men, Zapata surrendered. General Arista offered to pardon Antonio Zapata under the condition that he swore allegiance to Mexico, but he refused.

    The Republic of the Rio Grande depended on Texan support. Texas also had conflicting interests on whether to support the new Republic or not.

    Firstly, establishing the Republic of the Rio Grande would act as a protective barrier between Mexico and Texas, delaying any potential Mexican plans to reclaim Texas. Additionally, for Texas to gain recognition of its independence from Mexico, supporting the new Republic could provoke Mexico.

    Despite the informal backing from Texas President Lamar, the Republic of the Rio Grande faced defeat in just under 10 months, leaving Texas to continue to confront Mexico on its own.

    Behind The Zapata Trophy Buckle Design

    The Zapata buckle was added to our collection in the early 2000s in response to the increasing demand for smaller trophy buckles. Clint aimed to provide a timeless rectangular trophy buckle that customers could seamlessly wear from the office to outdoor settings.

    Zapata 1813 Trophy Buckle


    The Zapata buckle usually measures 2.75 x 1.75 inches and includes a fixed back suitable for belts up to 1.5 inches wide. This buckle is a great starting point for individuals starting their Clint Orms buckle collection.

    Clayton Orms with his fiancé Anna Pratt wearing the Zapata 1813


    Clayton Orms with fiancé Anna Pratt, wearing the Zapata 1813.

    Our Zapata 1813 is the ideal staple buckle featuring a sterling silver hand-engraved center with a sterling silver wire border. A true forever Clint Orms piece.

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