OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - Students at the University of Mississippi
have picked the Rebel Black Bear as their new mascot.
The bear will replace Colonel Reb, the goateed Southern
gentleman banished from the sidelines nearly seven years ago as
part of the school's effort to distance itself from symbols of the
In 1997, Ole Miss ended the waving of Confederate flags at
sporting events. Last year, the band stopped playing a fight song
to discourage the fan chant, "The South will rise again."
The announcement came Thursday after a campuswide vote in
February and months of polling. The bear beat out two other
finalists, the Rebel Land Shark and something called the "Hotty
Toddy," an attempt to personify the school cheer.