DILWORTH, Minn. — The Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton School District is considering a change to the current Rebel mascot, a decision that comes a month after some in the community criticized the design for resembling a Confederate soldier's uniform.
“We are being proactive and getting the pulse of our district to see if we want to adjust our Rebel logo," Superintendent Bryan Thygeson said in a statement. "In the coming months, the district will collaborate with students, staff and community stakeholders to have more discussions on the logo.”
The announcement on Thursday, April 1, came two days after the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton School District Activities Department informed students in an email that the district was planning to “transition away from the Rebel head logo” and was accepting submissions for new ideas.
Thygeson did not specify why the mascot was slated for change, but a petition on Change.org written one month ago by someone called NewMascot4DGF to the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton School Board asked the district to discontinue the use of the Rebel mascot and search for a new one.
Dressed in a wide-brimmed gray cavalier hat with a protruding feather, the mascot has a long moustache covering a toothy grin and a protruding cleft chin. The caricature resembles a Confederate soldier, according to the petition.
Reasons behind the change include that the mascot “closely resembles the rebels of the Confederate State of American in our nation’s Civil War,” and “no school district should ever glamorize or trivialize the Confederate States legacy of slavery and racism.”
The petition also states that a Confederate-looking mascot dishonors the sacrifice of American soldiers from Minnesota who fought during the Civil War and “prolongs the American journey towards racial equity.”
Cavalier hats are so named from the English Civil War of the 17th century where cavaliers, or supporters of the king, were noted for wearing extravagant clothing, according to the “Handbook of English Costume in the Seventeenth Century.”
Confederate soldiers were known to wear a version of the cavalier hat with the brim pinned upward, which at the time were known as Hardee hats, according to "Military Headgear in the Southwest 1846-1890."