Concerns about the historical context and inadvertent racism tied to a B.C. high school's team name and logo has led to a decision to change both.
This fall, Princeton Secondary School will change the name of its Rebels sports teams after consulting with the school's 200 students.
According to a letter from the school district, an assessment of past and current practices in schools led to the decision.
"It has recently come to the attention of the Board of Education that the logo for Princeton Secondary School 'Rebels' has a history of being defined by images that glorify the Confederate cause during the American Civil War," the letter said.
Though the logo now features a mountain view, in the past it has included depictions of Confederate soldiers and the Confederate flag, and has been used on school sports uniforms and in print.
School board chair Gordon Comeau said he doesn't think the use of Confederate symbols in the school was meant to promote white supremacy, but the school board needs to stand by its policy to support inclusion and ensure the learning environment is free from discrimination.
"The reality of the day is that we now know what it stood for and it's just not acceptable," Comeau told Radio West host Sarah Penton.
"When something becomes redundant or no longer palatable for the general public it's time to change it."
Comeau said Princeton, B.C. is a 'rich' community with wildlife all around them, which will hopefully inspire the new name.
"I'm sure they'll come up with something very creative," he said.
The announcement has elicited mixed reaction from the community on social media.
"Change the name cuz it reflects back to a time in the Southern U.S.!?" Danni Louvros said on Facebook. "Let's change our name to the 'Conformers.'"
"Over 40 years of school history gone. Pathetic. This is an embarrassment," Colton Wilson added.
Some people are happy about the change.
"I graduated from PSS this year and I think this is a good step in the right direction!" Addison van Genne wrote. "We can easily pick a name that represents and embodies our town. The mountaineers, pines, rapids, are all good examples of things that are important to the people of Princeton."
Bethany Beddard, who also went to PSS, expressed similar sentiments.
"I always wondered why a highschool in a small town in B.C. had a confederate soldier as a mascot. Never really made any sense," she wrote.
"I always had the idea in mind that if the Rebels were to be replaced, I'd put forth the 'Rapids' or 'Raging Rapids'. You know, since Princeton is surrounded by rivers."