This article compares the controversial mascot of the University of Mississippi, Colonel Reb, with the University of Kansas Jayhawk and the University of Missouri Tiger, all three of which owe their origins to the Civil War. Using year-books, school newspapers, and other university publications, this piece examines the contexts in which the mascots were adopted, as well as the imagery surrounding their usage. The goal is to determine why Colonel Reb has become so controversial while the Jayhawk and the Tiger remain acceptable university symbols, despite the fact that both mascots were created from the guerrilla violence that occurred in Kansas and Missouri during the Civil War. Comparing the three mascots illustrates that while white supremacy has been deemed by most Americans to be part of an unacceptable past, the violence associated with guerrilla conflict has become a suitable form of entertainment for college sports fans.


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pp. 447-463
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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