NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (KETK) – New Braunfels ISD has used their famous unicorn mascot for nearly 100 years, but it was almost something entirely different.

New Braunfels ISD logo, courtesy of New Braunfels ISD.

The origin can be traced back to Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels from Germany, who is credited with founding and settling the town in 1845. His coat of arms displayed a “rampant blue lion… on a gold field,” according to Rebecca Villarreal, the Executive Director of Communications for New Braunfels ISD.

Villarreal explained how the unicorn came to be, despite not being present on the actual coat of arms:

“Described as half of an oval shield, the seal for the ring was cut off a bit lower at the top when the ring was designed, which removed one of the lion’s ears. The remaining ear appeared to be the horn of a unicorn,” Villarreal explained.

Villarreal found the oldest yearbooks on file for the district dating back to 1925. In the 1939 yearbook, she located the following photo of the men’s basketball team from that year, displaying the unicorn name across their jerseys.

New Braunfels ISD 1939 Men’s Basketball Team. Photo courtesy of New Braunfels ISD.

The unicorn was named the runner up in Dave Campbell’s Texas High School Football Mascot Madness back in 2020, solidifying its spot as one of the most distinctive mascots in all of Texas high school sports.

New Braunfels High School was the first school in the district to use the unicorn as their mascot nearly 100 years ago, and now all 15 of the district’s campuses have the unicorn as their mascot.

Their male mascot is called Eugene and the female is Eunice. The district also has a large sculpted mascot named Buford that travels to all of the football games.

“We have several traditions that involve [Buford] and he has his own group of haulers and handlers,” Villarreal said.

“Buford Haulers” handling the Buford statue before a game. Photo courtesy of New Braunfels High School.

In the fall of 2024, the district will be opening up their second comprehensive high school and for the first time in the district’s history, they will don a second mascot – the Long Creek High School Dragons.

New Braunfels ISD is one of the only education systems in the country that uses a unicorn as their mascot, residing right here in the Lone Star State.