DUNCAN, S.C. – Days after the Confederate flag outside the state house in Columbia furled in a ceremony that attracted thousands of spectators, some flag opponents are now targeting a Spartanburg County high school’s mascot name, calling it a symbol of “racial hatred,” and “pain.”
The social media campaign to get James F. Byrnes High School in Duncan to get rid of it’s “Rebels,” mascot name started with a Facebook post from a Spartanburg man on Thursday, the same day Gov. Nikki Haley signed the bill to remove the Confederate flag outside the state house.
“I think we need to leave it alone,” said Stephanie Lenoir, a Byrnes alum. “I admire what they did in Columbia but let’s move on. We need to move on to another point in our life. We need to cut out all this racism stuff.”
This isn’t the first push to get the school to remove change its mascot name. In 1991, the NAACP led a campaign to get the school district to change its mascot, which, at the time, depicted a cartoon image of a Confederate soldier.
Spartanburg School District 5 spokeswoman Melissa Robinette said no person or group has approached the district or its trustees about the “Rebels,” mascot name.
The group that supports a mascot name change will meet Monday, July 20.