Ole Miss Confederate Flag: The Battle to Save Colonel Reb Continues
For the past several decades the Colonel Reb and the Confederate Flag were the symbols of the University of Mississippi.
The University Administration has decided that Colonel Reb causes perceptions of the Old South, an image of which the administration wishes to distance itself. In 2003, the University Administration made a command decision to ban Colonel Reb, but no replacement has been decided on.
The purpose of the February 23 vote is for students to confirm approval for creating a new school mascot. The restoration of Colonel Reb is not an option on the ballot.
Colonel Reb represents a southern gentleman, and has been a rallying symbol at Ole Miss, since 1937. The image of the Southern Colonel, patterned after Robert E. Lee, became the symbol of the school. The Confederate flag becomes a mainstay image of the school, as well. In 2009, students defy ultimatum to cease chanting The South Shall Rise Again joined by an animated and unreconstructed Colonel Reb.
A mascot at Ole Miss since the 1940’s based on a real person at Ole Miss, Colonel Reb has transformed from a character in the Student Annual, to a student cheerleader voted to be on the sidelines during games, to a professional mascot for Ole Miss. In 2003 the University Administration tried to change the mascot despite 94% of students voting to keep Colonel Reb on the field. Ole Miss is now the only school in the SEC that does not have a mascot.
The Colonel Reb vs. University of Mississippi administration "war" has been complex and unnecessary. To understand it, you have to glimpse the history of "ColonelGate."
In the summer of 2003, Ole Miss students, alumni and fans were shocked with Chancellor Khayat and Athletic Director Pete Boone’s decision to strip Colonel Reb from our school. Boone’s reasoning was the mascot "doesn’t fit anything we do." At no point did student or alumni input factor into the decision to get rid of the mascot.
This episode was not the first attack against Colonel Reb. In 1997 during his first tenure as athletic director, Boone introduced a goofy, muscular, football helmet-wearing version of the mascot. Students ridiculed this decision, as they formed the Rebel Student Union to combat the change. The students prevailed, and the steroid version of the Colonel was rejected. Boone would soon leave as athletic director.
Upon his return as athletic director, Boone decided to get rid of the Colonel for good. The Ole Miss family was stunned. it is estimated that millions were lost from donations. Many emotions erupted as a result of this action. http://www.saveolemiss.com
The original Colonel Rebel emblem was a black man. Blind Jim Ivy was a campus fixture until his death in 1955, seven years before the school was integrated in 1962. He was affectionately known as "the dean of freshmen" for his many pep talks to incoming Ole Miss freshmen classes. Jim Ivy became an integral part of the University of Mississippi in 1896. Born in 1870 as the son of slave Matilda Ivy, he moved from Alabama to Mississippi in 1890. Ivy was blinded in his early teens when coal tar paint got into his eyes while painting the Tallahatchie River Bridge. Ivy became a peanut vendor in Oxford and was considered the university’s mascot for many years.
Ivy attended most Ole Miss athletic events and was fond of saying, "I’ve never seen Ole Miss lose." A true statement from a beloved blind man and supporter of Ole Miss Football and the Confederate Flag. Ivy was very much a part of the Ole Miss scene in 1936 when the editor of the school newspaper proposed a contest to produce a new nickname for Ole Miss teams, then known as The Flood. Rebels were the choice of 18 out of 21 sports writers and the university’s sports teams have forever been known as the Rebels. Two years later, Colonel Rebel appeared for the first time as an illustration in the university yearbook.
Newspaper articles that further explain the battle:
Political correctness has been a costly decision at Ole Miss. Previously removing the Confederate Flag and Colonel Reb has upset the alumni of Ole Miss greatly, resulting in reduction in giving.
Former Governor Ross Barnett Said:
You students of Mississippi are examples of southern chivalry. You have not betrayed the confidence of your parents. You have honored the heritage of your past.
What you can do. Encourage the Mississippi Alumni Association to take a stand to restore Colonel Reb, a new mascot is not acceptable.
George Wallace told us to, "Send them a message."
Lets create some excitement and action at Ole Miss, call then forward the email. Together lets win the battle to bring back Colonel Reb. Tell the Almuni Association and College officials that we want Colonel Reb as our mascot. Contact the below Ole Miss contacts with phone or email:
The University of Mississippi Alumni Association
Triplett Alumni Center
University, MS 38677,
Post Office Box 1848
University, MS 38677
Phone (662) 915-7375
Fax (662) 915-7756
Alumni Review Magazine email email@example.com
Rebel Insider E-newsletter email firstname.lastname@example.org
Call Admissions at: 662-915-7226 or 800-OLE-MISS (toll-free in MS),
Graduate: 662-915-7474, email email@example.com
Financial Aid: 800-891-4596 (toll-free nationwide), email firstname.lastname@example.org
Media & Public Relations: 662-915-7236, email email@example.com
Send an email to the below addresses, and let them know, we want to bring back Colonel Reb
What is your opinion about the Ole Miss controversy? State your opinion for others to read at: http://www.southernwarroom.info Southern War Room
The heritage of the Confederate flag has faded at Ole Miss with the banning of the flag at ball games in 1997. However, the flag heritage is still strong in Oxford, Ms as it is on display on numerous places on private property. The only southern state with the Confederate Flag as part of its symbol is Mississippi. And the Mississippi State Flag with the Confederate Cross of St. Andrews is proudly displayed throughout the state, but especially in Oxford. Some students still bring flags to the ball games, but the rules ban waving the flag on poles or sticks.
The Ole Miss that we old timers remember before the days of political correctness – See Below – When we rallied around the Confederate Flag and Colonel Reb
The Confederate battle flag, called the "Southern Cross" or the cross of St. Andrew, has been described variously as a proud emblem of Southern heritage. In the past, several Southern states flew the Confederate battle flag along with the U.S. and state flags over their statehouses. The Southern Caucus provides information to promote our southern heritage.
Rebel Flag History
The best-known Rebel flag was the Confederate Battle Flag, also known as the "Southern Cross". The Battle flag was carried by Confederate troops during battle. So, on May 1st,1863, the second Confederate flag design was adopted, placing the Battle Flag as the canton on a white field. It was named the Stainless Banner. This Rebel flag was mistaken for a truce flag in calm weather, since it would just hang with mostly white showing. This led the Confederacy to create the third Official Rebel flag. On March 4th,1865, a new pattern was adapted. It was the same as the previous design, but with a wide, red stripe on the fly end. The third flag did not last long, since the war came to an end. It was called the Last Confederate flag. The Confederate Battle flag is the most recognized Rebel flag. Many people know it from the Dukes of Hazzard TV show. The Rebel flag was painted on the top of the Duke Boys’ car, the General Lee. The Confederate flag has also appeared on several southern state flags at one time or another. The only state to keep the Rebel flag as part of their state flag presently, is Mississippi.