George Washington University Drops Colonial Moniker
The school mascot will remain. George 1 – George Washington’s head, donated by a student wearing a Revolutionary War uniform. The school colors, buff and blue, will also remain the same.
The school said the full adoption of the revolutionary moniker will be implemented during the 2023-24 school year.
Why it matters: Institutions are renaming dated monikers.
The change is part of a larger shift in American sports and beyond as college and professional teams drop monikers based on Native American and Confederate imagery, a trend that accelerated after the 2020 killing of George Floyd.
NFL team in Washington Become a commander in 2022. After nearly 90 years of using slurs against Native Americans. In an MLB team Cleveland is now the patron. After more than 100 years under a name with similar connotations. In 2010, The University of Mississippi was replaced. His longtime mascot, along with the rebellious Blackbear, a southern plantation owner known as Colonel Reb.
gave Colonialism The name has been part of the university’s identity since 1926, replacing Hatchetites, Hatchetmen, Axemen and Crummen (for Henry Crum, a football coach).
Background: Students have demanded change for years.
The decision comes after a year of community engagement efforts that included focus groups, surveys and a “Moniker Madness” selection process that allowed students to Vote during the men’s basketball game..
The university in Washington, near the White House and the National Mall, received 8,000 moniker suggestions, which were then narrowed down to 10 options “that best reflect the spirit of GW.” The school said in a statement. Students, faculty, staff and alumni This was further narrowed down to four finalists. — “Ambassador,” “Sentinels,” “Revolutionary” and “Blue Fog,” after the Foggy Bottom neighborhood — in March.
Opposition to the Colonials nickname began in 2019, when the student body voted to remove it, forming the “Anything But Colonials Alliance”. The following year, student organizations petitioned the university president’s office to change the name.
But some alumni were attached to the old name and its connection to the revolutionary spirit that defined Americans during the British colonial era. Opponents argued that colonialism was synonymous with violence and historically inaccurate.
Georgie Burcher, a white man of Native descent who was part of the committee that recommended the change to the board of trustees, said Revolutionary “is a new moniker to be proud of.”
“I think getting rid of colonialism was the most important step,” he said in a text to The New York Times. “This name is a much more appropriate direction that resonates with the school community.”
Full disclosure: This alumnus voted for Blue Fog.