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Walpole finally ditches Rebels as name of high-school teams

WBZ reports the Walpole School Committee voted to come up with a new name, years after some residents began pressing for a name that didn't sound like the high school was home to a bunch of secession supporters, an idea that a neighbor of the high-school field bolstered by putting up a large Confederate battle flag.

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They went from Lee to Grant with their football coaches back in the 90's

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As a white person in the North I keep thinking this stuff is a "them" issue, not "us"

Then I see that we have a team called the Rebels in Walpole, that was still the Rebels until 2020? That they still used the battle flag until very recently and some of their supporters can still not let go of. That this did not seem like a big deal to white people up here until just now. That I did not see it , how did I not know this? I must have seen the logo or the team name at some point. This is not even their parents or grandparents heritage. Which makes it even wackier. They chose to adopt this and nobody stopped them until 2020

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I know this is condescending but it is genuinely baffling that a white Northerner can live in Massachusetts and be surprised by a Confederate flag.

I used to work in Woburn and frequently saw trucks with Confederate bumper stickers and window decals. A Haitian employee and I made sure to take the bus to Stoneham and walk to work together: if he travelled by himself, passersby would shout the n-word at him. It happened literally every day I wasn't walking with him. It also routinely happened to two African immigrants I rode the bus with who worked at the Wendy's.

Not to mention that the Boston busing riots were led by racist whites who decided that "neighborhood rights" was a better rallying call than "states rights." This stuff isn't Southern history, it's American history.

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Not sure where I said I never saw that flag. You were being condescending. You must be from Boston.

I said I had not seen what was going on in Walpole.

I said I had not really noticed how widespread it was.

I was making myself vulnerable by admitting I was not looking hard enough and here you are hitting me in the face. We wonder why people don't talk honestly around here. Because when we do people always find a reason to attack.

For what it is worth I am personally not used to seeing that flag but I also live closer to the city. I came across someone with it on his forearm once and it scared me. I suspect I being so super white had no reason to be alarmed but it alarmed me anyway.

I was born after busing.

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...but Friday nights in quarantine compel me...

We wonder why people don't talk honestly around here. Because when we do people always find a reason to attack.

Hooooooo boy. Actually a much more compelling reason "[white] people don't talk honestly around here" (you quite revealingly forgot a crucial qualifier) is that in aggregate white Americans are absurdly prissy, hypersensitive, whiny jerks when it comes to US history and politics. For instance, there is one white person here who drew an equivalence between "being punched in the face" and "someone on the internet intemperately pointing out that the Confederate flag is everywhere in Massachusetts." You need to calm the heck down. I really didn't attack you at all. I could have been a lot meaner. For instance, this sentence in your original is staggeringly ignorant, even though I chose not to address it the first go around:

[The flag] is not even their parents or grandparents heritage. Which makes it even wackier.

There is nothing even slightly wacky about this. Very few people who wave a Confederate flag has traceable Confederate heritage, and regardless it doesn't matter. Waving a Confederate flag is just another way of saying the n-word. This has been the case since the end of the Civil War. It was true when it showed up in the busing riots, it was true in postwar Detroit, it was true at NASCAR events, and it's true for the flag of Mississippi. I find it difficult to believe you don't understand this. I am pretty sure every person in America understands this. Certainly the people who wave Confederate flags know what they are doing. I am assuming that you know exactly why they are waving the flag but don't want to admit it.

And the fact that you think being "born after busing" is an acceptable excuse for your ignorance about busing is also a huge part of the problem. To be clear: your ignorance is a much bigger problem in US society than me being mean to you about it. I was born several years after the busing crisis, and incidentally I was raised in the South and came up to New England for college. I was also born after the Civil War, but would be a poor excuse I called it "The War Of Northern Aggression."

I get that you are learning. That does not mean you are immune to criticism - and it certainly doesn't justify you being so hysterical in response to me.

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Michigan, for example?

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This being Massachusetts, did the name come from rebels in the Civil War, or from rebels in the Revolutionary War?

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no one calls the American revolutionaries "rebels"

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Guy named John Lee, (from Newton) went to the University of Memphis (then Memphis State) and played football there in the 1950s. After that he came back to Massachusetts and became the football coach at Walpole High School. He was able to change the name of the mascot of the school at some point to the Rebels (was the Hilltoppers before that I believe). The Walpole uniforms would often have the Confederate Flag displayed, and this continued until the early 1990s. The Rebel name stayed, John Lee retired in 1992 or 1993, but people carried on the tradition, and the flag became some sort of perverted pride in that town and the high school. I'm not sure if John Lee changed the colors of Walpole High, although the Red and Blue that they have now is very similar to the color pattern of the University of Mississippi which I'm guessing John Lee tried to copy (Ole Miss also had the Confederate flag until the 1980s or 1990s I believe). I am told that Walpole had the colors of Green and Yellow before Lee got there in the 1960s.

So rebels were named after the Confederacy, not the ones from the Revolutionary War.

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Similar to the UVA Cavaliers, which is still in the south if you want to make that connection....

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When I was a kid (father involved in HS football) I remember going to the Walpole/Brockton Super Bowl at Foxboro Stadium where Walpole pulled off a huge 6-2 upset over the favored Boxers. Seemed like the whole Walpole side of the stadium was filled with bright orange hunting hats and other orange hunting gear.

Now the Rebels have the Virginia look with the two sabers underneath the "W" (which now are also under attack from what I read because of the racist history behind their logo):

https://www.espn.com/college-sports/story/_/id/29314996/virginia-changes...

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I attended WHS when John "General" Lee was the coach. The first attempt to remove the Confederate symbolism from the school was in the fall of 1989. No only did the football team use the flag on the sleeve of the jersey, there was a big flag painted on a wall overlooking the field, and the band would play "Dixie" after each score. (I know, I was in the band at the time.)

Before the 1989 season, it was decided to some consternation to pull the Confederate symbols and not play Dixie at games. (I think we played the University of Michigan's fight song, but I'm not sure.) The logo was changed, but to a "W" with the similar pattern as the Confederate flag, so it wasn't much of a change. (Reddish-orange background, blue bars in a "W" shape with stars inside the bars.)

The fans however didn't like the change, even to the point where a number of them brought kazoos and would buzz out "Dixie" after the band played whatever we did after the team scored.

Some argue Rebels wasn't the worst nickname for a sports team. The field hockey team at the time were known as... the Porkers!

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of course, OP had no intention to actually learn anything but this was very informative

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But Walpole had this "wall" at the side of the stadium which had the confederate flag painted on it along with a bunch of other confederate symbols, flags, etc. It was made of these big round stones that were painted white with the flag pained over it. One Thanksgiving (I can't remember if it was Brockton or Waltham but I think it was Waltham), a few of the away fans decided to take out some of the confederate bricks and damage the wall. This caused a huge fight in the crowd and it was the last time Waltham and Walpole played on Thanksgiving. The wall was also destroyed at some point in the 1990s.

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Saw the Globe story from 10 years ago where a neighbor abutting one of the athletic fields there hung a large confederate flag visible from the field- school had to make announcements before games disavowing it

http://archive.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/05/25/i...

Went to the Walpole-Wellesley game in 1991 at Wellesley w/ Walpole alum while I was in college- was an odd event to me- aside from the Rebel imagery- the Walpole crowd seemed more interested in fighting each other than watching the game/ etc.

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But, yes, as noted, nobody in Massachusetts uses "rebels" to refer to the winning side in the Revolution, and nobody flies a treason flag to support their team, except, it seems, in Walpole (at least up until last night). Take a look at what UMass Amherst calls its sports teams. There are also certain professional sports teams you could look up.

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Most of your comment is accurate. Except what people would call the colonists who opposed the crown.

While Walpole chose to name their Rebels after the Civil War Southerners who lost... The concept of rebels is not foreign to Boston. I've heard it used many times and in fact Sam Adams has an entire subline of beers called Rebel. Based off the chosen imagery it looks to be a play on the Revolution and I certainly hope not the Civil War. The Revere Hotel in Boston has a bar called the Rebels Guild.

Maybe it's a North Shore , South Shore Boston thing? On this side of town we do have the sites of the Revolutionary battles and Paul Reveres ride.

Walpole clearly was going for the Southern Traitors but I would say I always associated the word rebel with the Revolution first, Star Wars second and third the traitors from down under and quite frankly only because of Billy Idol and the song Rebel Yell or when that orange flag was mentioned.

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But then they won, so became revolutionaries.

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Star Wars is also my first thought at the term. Second would be Pennsylvanian distillers responsible for the Whiskey Rebellion.

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about 80 miles west of here. If Petersham or Northampton had a team called Rebels, this is what it would refer to.

Pelham has a statue of Daniel Shays.

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Shay lost.

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is the name of the person who started it.

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"fans in Walpole’s stands sang “Dixie” and waved Confederate flags."
Does that answer your question?

https://www.wgbh.org/news/local-news/2020/06/11/in-walpole-a-decades-lon...

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Tell you what, Walpole, you can keep the team name, as long as you ditch the mascot and the traitorous flag and replace them with an X-Wing and this logo.

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...but a flying Wedge is an illegal formation, you Rogue!

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is more typically all the teams called the Indians, Redskins, etc... These are on their way out still cause severe fault lines in the local social media when it happens in my limited experience.

The bottom line is that it could not matter less and people getting mad about name changes need to just own up to their reactionary hater natures. Just pass a law that school team names can only be after things from nature and have done with it.

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Like the UMass Boston Beacons. Or the Brandeis Judges. Or, well, OK, the Boston Red Sox.

But speaking of troublesome names, yes, we have a long history of that here. Both the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Redskins started with those names when they played in Boston.

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They were using confederate symbols up to a few years ago, so I'd say civil war.

Nice slap in the face to those who fought and died for the union and are listed on a monument in town.

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They should go for a Star Wars theme and become "The Rebellion."

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Walpole Wardens would be excellent

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Magoo likes the movie the Good The Bad and the Ugly. Interesting depictions of Johnny Reb and Billy Yank and the civil war. Blondie was just after some gold. Magoo.

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they should rename the team after their town's namesake; the Walpole Chancellors of the Exchequer has a nice ring to it

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REBEL!!!!

chief carmichael (aka captain underpants) and the walpole police twitters are gone!!!!

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Big time Hardos

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Concord called its Militia the Concord Minutemen*1 [still does in fact]*2

in Lexington it was just the Town Militia Company -- all of the members in Lexington's Militia Company*3 trained to the Massachusetts Provincial Congress standards*4 and no specific sub-group was designated as a Minute Company

However -- the Town of Lexington has been associated with the term Minutemen for many many years. The official name was launched with the rechartering of the Lexington Militia Company as the Lexington Minutemen*5 to properly honor the Centennial of the Battle on the Lexington Town Common and the Presidential Visit to Lexington

Ref:
https://concordminutemen.wordpress.com/

*1
January 12, 1775, when the original Concord Minute Men signed the muster rolls thus organizing one of the most famous citizen militia units in American history.
*2
a proclamation chartering the unit was issued by the Concord Selectmen and the Public Ceremonies Committee on December 10, 1962. The date of the first muster was Saturday January 12, the same date the original Minute Men first mustered in 1775.

Ref:
https://www.lexingtonminutemen.com/about.html

*3
Chartered by the Massachusetts Governor’s Council on Sept. 6, 1689, the unit was originally known as the Second Military Company in Cambridge -- at the time Lexington was known as Cambridge Farms

*5
The company was re-chartered in 1874 ahead of an official visit by President Ulysses S. Grant, and currently operates under a charter granted May 5, 1910 by Gov. Eben S. Draper which permanently established the Minute Men as an independent, unattached military command in Massachusetts.

*4
Ref
Wikipedia Minutemen
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minutemen

The Massachusetts Provincial Congress recommended to the militia to form themselves into companies of minute-men, who should be equipped and prepared to march at the shortest notice. These minute-men were to comprise one-quarter of the whole militia, to be enlisted under the direction of the field-officers, and divide into companies, consisting of at least 50 men each. The privates were to choose their captains and subalterns, and these officers were to form the companies into battalions, and chose the field-officers to command the same. Hence the minute-men became a body distinct from the rest of the militia, and, by being more devoted to military exercises, they acquired skill in the use of arms. More attention than formerly was likewise bestowed on the training and drilling of militia

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That's nice dear.

The Ghost of Deborah Sampson would like a word with you - outside.

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As is the Walpole youth soccer team.

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You've torn the press
Rebel rebel
Your stance is a mess
Rebel rebel
You should have known
Dumb rube, I hate you so

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As an 80's kid from the Boston burbs, the rebel flag meant Lynyrd Skynrd music, The Dukes of Hazard (Yee haw), and maybe monster trucks.

When I saw people clinging to the Confederacy, I also saw it in loose cultural ways, similar to how people of Irish descent drink Guinness, or Italian descent eat fish & pasta at Christmas, and wear Italian horns as necklaces.

In the last few years, I'm more aware of some of the history (eg Confederacy statues going up in the 1950's).

But I guess my point is that some of these displays may be deliberately racist. And I get that people find them offensive in a lot of ways. But I also bet you almost anything that most every resident of Walpole today just sees The Rebels as a goofy spirited symbol, like I used to watch Bo & Luke jump their car over construction sites.

We should change, but those people arent evil.

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Walpole has a monument to people from that community who fought and died in the Civil War.

There are not any excuses for this nonsense.

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So they felt Rebel was not appropriate but the name Porkers is just fine?

Who the hell names a girls team the Porkers??

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the Confederacy. If the former coach was named Benedict Arnold would we have gone there Walpole? When is the statue of Bowe Bergdahl going up?

On a side note, coming from Boston you have to drive through Walpole to get to Bob Krafts venue where you can attend country fest with your Trump flag and Stars N bars while watching 16 year old's puke on themselves. Fun times hearing the same song with different lyrics for 3 straight hours. Merican lives matter, I don't see color, FBI is deep state but blue lives matter.

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