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Why Do Yellowstone Characters Get Branded? Branded Characters List

Why Do Yellowstone Characters Get Branded? Branded Characters List

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If you are a fan of Yellowstone, you will know that getting branded is a significant aspect of the show. So, just why do Yellowstone characters get branded?

When Yellowstone talks about branding, it is not a metaphor. Several characters on the show that work at the ranch receive an actual brand on their body, just like livestock do.

The branding iron is heated over a flame and pressed onto a person’s skin, a process that is not for the faint of heart.

However, not just anyone on Yellowstone receives a brand. Only a handful of characters bear the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch brand on their chests.

The ritual of being branded on the show has caused some confusion among fans about who gets the brand and why.

Receiving a brand on Yellowstone is a big deal. It indicates just how grueling life can be at Yellowstone Dutton Ranch.

Why Do Yellowstone Characters Get Branded?

In the show Yellowstone, characters get branded to signify that they are a part of the ranch forever and to indicate their loyalty. The brand bounds wearers to the ranch and in a way, the ranch owns them now.

The brand is also a symbol of loyalty. It shows that the person who is branded is loyal to the ranch and to the Dutton family. This is a very important quality in the world of Yellowstone, where loyalty is often tested.

The brand often represents a second chance, allowing the ranch hands to leave behind their previous struggles and hardships. In a way, it represents a sort of rebirth, as many of those who work at the ranch come from a troubled past.

Rip Wheeler holding the Yellowstone brand iron

For example, when Rip branded Jimmy, he gave him the option to receive the brand and work for the ranch or be turned into the cops.

The act of branding on Yellowstone is similar to initiation rituals of secret organizations such as the Sicilian mafia and fraternities. Once an individual accepts the brand, they are a part of the ranch and are sworn to protect its secrets.

What Yellowstone Characters are Branded?

Yellowstone characters that are branded are Kayce, Beth, Rip, Jimmy, Teeter, Wade, Colby, Ryan, Lloyd, and Walker.

It is important to note that not everyone who works on the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch is branded. The brand is only given to those who have proven themselves to be loyal and trustworthy. It is a way of showing that the person is now a part of the family.

The first character we see to receive the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch brand is Jimmy. Rip gives Jimmy the brand in his trailer after giving him an ultimatum: get branded or get arrested.

Jimmy with the Yellowstone brand

Wade Morrow also had a brand, however, Walker cuts the brand from Wade’s chest after he betrays the ranch.

Wade, along with his son Clint, attacked Teeter and Colby before threatening John Dutton. The ranch hands sought revenge on the Morrows, killing them for their attacks on the ranch.

Is it Good to be Branded in Yellowstone?

Whether or not it is good to be branded in Yellowstone is a matter of opinion. Some people might see it as a badge of honor, a sign that they are part of the ranch family. Others might see it as a symbol of oppression, a reminder that they are owned by the ranch.

Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide how they feel about the brand.

What Does the Yellowstone Brand Logo Mean?

The Yellowstone Dutton Ranch brand logo is a Hooked Rocking Y. It is created from a combination of the Hooked Y and the Rocking Y, two historical cattle brands.

Yellowstone Y hot brand

Both the Hooked Y and the Rocking Y are used separately among real American cattle ranchers. However, the Hooked Rocking Y logo remains special to just Yellowstone.

The Hooked Y brand dates back over 130 years as a registered American cattle brand. It is active in several different states including Tennesee, Arkansas, and Texas.

Related: Is Yellowstone Based on a True Story?

Did Any Real-Life Ranches Brand Their Cowboys?

Branding people on Yellowstone is done throughout the show, however, it is not a regular practice at real-life ranches.

Though people in real-life have been branded, it is by no means a common occurrence.

Branding a person comes with a lot of dangers. A person’s skin is a lot thinner than a cow’s, so the brand can result in a serious burn. In addition, brands on people are prone to infections, which can lead to serious complications.

Related: 20 Yellowstone Quiz Questions


Monday 14th of November 2022

If the brand is exclusive to Yellowstone then why is the rancher on Mountain Men show uses it?