Look at that bird. Who wouldn’t love that huge smile and be charmed by it? The citizens of Osceola, Mo. That’s who.
The Osceola Board of Aldermen wants Kansas to drop the Jayhawk as its mascot because it celebrates “a group of domestic terrorists” from the Civil War known as the Jayhawkers, according to the Columbia Tribune.
The board isn’t kidding around, either. On the 150th anniversary of when the town was attacked and 12 of its residents killed, it passed a resolution condemning the Jayhawk’s use by a university. It also wants Missouri to educate people about the attack on the town, which residents think is often overlooked in Civil War discussions. (Also requested? That Missouri residents stop spelling Kansas or KU with a capital letter because “neither is a proper name or a proper place.”)
Kansas considers the Jayhawk’s history to be less murderous. It’s used the mascot since 1890, with various versions used through the years. The current version’s been used since 1947 (though a different font was added in 2005).
The “Border War” or “Bleeding Kansas” between Kansas and Missouri was a series of Civil War skirmishes between abolitionists and pro-slavery residents. William Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence in 1963 was perhaps the most famous of these.
So what’s the school say about all this? It sent a simple, direct and perfect response to the paper:
In an emailed comment on the resolution, KU News Service Director Jill Jess said: “A Jayhawk is a blue bird with a red head and a big yellow beak that wears boots. It would be hard to confuse it with anyone with terrorist intent, though we admit we have been terrorizing the Tigers on the basketball court for some time. Tigers have been known to kill people. Bears, too.”
Can’t say I’m surprised by the response. Kansas has other things to worry about right now.
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