Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

While civil war imagery has not recently been used by the school, the district says its past use links the name ‘Rebels’ to the Confederacy. Photo SD58
Over the years, there have been numerous Rebel logos depicting a Confederate soldier. Photo SD58
Princeton Secondary School team jerseys, in 1989, displayed the Confederate flag. Photo SD58

For decades, sports teams and their fans at Princeton Secondary School have been known as The Rebels.

That’s changing, following an announcement from the Nicola-Similkameen School District over the name’s origins being linked to the U.S. confederacy.

“It has recently come to the attention of the Board of Education that the current logo for Princeton Secondary School Rebels has a history of being defined by images that glorify the Confederate cause during the American Civil War. These images, although not used recently, have varied across the years. In the past they have included depictions of confederate soldiers, and the Confederate flag,” reads the letter dated July 3, 2020.

School district chair Gordon Comeau told The Spotlight the issue was raised by the high school’s new principal, Bill Lawrence.

“The days of even hinting at discrimination are far past,” said Comeau, adding the name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy.

“We know it’s very offensive to some people in our system and our community.”

Comeau said he anticipates some backlash over the decision. “Some people don’t like change…But you have to do what is right.”

He acknowledged the word “rebel” can be interpreted in different ways. However, he said, the imagery associated with its use at the school clearly ties it to a hurtful period in history.

Over the years, different logos have been used by the school’s sports teams on their jerseys. Those include pictures of the Confederate flag, and depictions of a soldier with a gun.

A new name and logo that reflects inclusivity will be chosen in the fall.

The letter to parents states: “The process will include an opportunity for open dialogue and stakeholder input. We look forward to this important work and once again encourage all members of our community to support the school and our students in this process.”

Related: Anti-racism protesters rally around world, topple statue of slave trader in U.K.

Related: New Westminster votes to remove statue of ‘Hanging Judge’ Matthew Begbie

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

racism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna RCMP seek public assistance in identifying wanted suspects

If you can identify these suspects, please contact the Kelowna RCMP or Crime Stoppers

Missionwood Retirement Resort donated $3,734 to support the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign.
Soup sale helps benefit YMCA of the Okanagan

Missionwood Retirement Resort raised $3,734 for the Strong Kids campaign

Diane Galbraith won $100,000 in a Luxury Crossword Scratch and Win. (Contributed, BCLC)
Kelowna photographer in the spotlight after winning big

Diane Galbraith won $100k in a scratch and win, purchased in Kelowna

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Kelowna man faces charges after alleged break-and-enter spree

RCMP called the alleged crimes, ‘very serious in nature’, impacting businesses, victims

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Wanted Kelowna man arrested after allegedly driving stolen vehicle

38-year-old Kelowna man had an outstanding warrant for his arrest

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

(Kamloops this Week)
Grandfather accused of using grandchild to make child porn residing in Salmon Arm area

66-year-old’s offences alleged to have taken place in Kamloops

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Stacey Darren Alec pleaded guilty to three charges relating to child pornography at the Vernon law courts Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)
Guilty plea in child porn charges for Vernon man

The man in his 50s will appear for sentencing Nov. 9

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vernon-Monashee candidate Harwinder Sandhu signs have been tampered with repeatedly leading up to the Oct. 24 election. (Contributed)
More Okanagan election signs vandalized

Vernon-Monashee NDP candidate Hardwinder Sandhu hit hard with repairs

Kristy Dyer Cartoon
Dyer: Wood pellets cause carbon emissions in more ways than one

Kristy Dyer has a background in art and physics and consulted for Silicon Valley

Quail Ridge Dental is a new dentistry clinic opened by the husband and wife team of Dr. Steve Calder and Connie Calder. (Contributed)
Straight from DeHart

Kelowna dental clinic showcases new technology

Most Read