A high school in Texas is getting a new mascot after having the rebel mascot for the last 50 years. Hays High School is set to retire the Rebel mascot known as "Colonel Jack." The mascot wore a gray uniform common to the Confederacy during the Civil War and the school's band would play "Dixie." The school also had a Confederate flag that flew on campus and at stadiums and gyms during sporting events, according to The Statesman.
"The mere fact that the rebel mascot is indisputably divisive is enough to warrant its change," district officials said in a press release in July. "When a mascot mires the school in political controversy and pits students, families, and community members against each other, it is time to change." A big reason for the change is the school has a minority enrollment of 60%, and the country is in the middle of the Black Lives Matter movement. The Statesman reported possible new mascots for Hays are the Patriots, Honey Badgers and Hyenas.
The mascot has been an issue for the school for many years. Hays officially stopped using the Confederate flag in 2000. It was permitted on school property until 2012, and the fight song "Dixie" was no longer used by the school in 2015. In a survey done in June, one in four students said they found the rebel mascot "very uncomfortable." The Statesman reported Patriots were the top choice for the school mascot based on a poll for the students.
There have been several locations across the country to eliminate the Confederate flag. Still, it got started when NASCAR star Bubba Wallace wanted the league not to have fans fly the flag during events. NASCAR quickly responded by banning the Confederate Flag at races.
"No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race," Wallace said back in June. "So it starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them." The Confederate flag has a lot of history since it represented the Southern states in the country, including Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Virginia, during the Civil War. Wallace knows that decision won't sit well with a lot of people because of it being part of the Southern culture for over 140 years."