University of Texas Arlington

Rebel Theme Controversy Collection:

A Guide



Descriptive Summary

Creator: University of Texas at Arlington. News and Information Service.
Title: Rebel Theme Controversy Collection
Dates: 1968-1971
Abstract: From 1951 until 1971, the Rebel served as the school spirit theme for the Arlington State College. To support the Rebel theme, a number of symbols from the Confederacy were adopted, including the flying and waving of the Rebel flag on campus and at events. When the college joined the University of Texas system, some members of the campus community wanted to break away from the Rebel-Dixie them. Controversy over a name change continued unitl April 1971 when in a close campus election, The University of Texas at Arlington student body adopted "Mavericks" as a replacment for the Rebel theme. Materials in this collection trace the events that led up to changing the University of Texas at Arlington's school theme and mascot from the Rebels to the Mavericks.
Identification: AR232
Extent: 8 folders (0.21 linear ft.)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries

Historical Note

In 1951, students at Arlington State College, a forerunner of the University of Texas at Arlington, decided upon a Rebel school spirit theme and soon began adopting a number of symbols and references to the Confederacy as part of the spirit theme. These included the flying and waving of the Rebel flag on campus and at events; the playing of Dixie at sporting events; a Johnny Reb mascot; and the celebration of an Old South week which included slave auctions of students in blackface. During the 1960's, especially after the school joined the University of Texas System in 1965, some students, members of the student government, faculty, and University officials began a push to break away from the Rebel theme. However, the student body continually voted to uphold the theme and symbols during several votes. During the late 1960's and the early 1970's, the matter became increasingly contentious and demonstrations were held in support of both sides of the issue. The matter was finally settled in 1971 when the University of Texas Board of Regents abolishedt the Rebel theme.


Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence, minutes, news clippings, newsletters, news releases, photographs, brochure, booklets, statements, resolution, list, book cover, and drawings. Materials trace the events that led up to changing the University of Texas at Arlington's school theme and mascot from the Rebels to Mavericks. Much of the material is from The University of Texas at Arlington News & Information Service, the Shorthorn student newspaper, and other local newspapers. Some issues of the newsletter, Roaring Reb, are also included.


Organization

Materials are arranged in alphabetical order within document type.

Restrictions

Access

Open for research.


Index Terms

These materials are indexed under the following headings in the catalog of The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Organizations
University of Texas at Arlington. News & Information Service.
University of Texas at Arlington--History--Rebel theme controversy, (1965-1971)--Sources.
University of Texas at Arlington-- Mascots--History--Sources.
Subjects
Demonstrations--Texas--Arlington--History--Sources.
Places
Arlington (Tex.)--History--Sources.
Alternate Titles
University Archives

Related Material

AR226: Board of Regents of the University of Texas System Minutes

AR281: University of Texas at Arlington. Dean of Student Life Papers, 1965-1970


Administrative Information

Citation

Rebel Theme Controversy Collection, AR232, Box Number, Folder Number, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.

Acquisition

Gift, 1971.


Administrative Information

Grant Support

The retrospective updating and conversion of this finding aid was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Special Collections "Documenting Democracy: Access to Historical Records" project, 2014-2015.


Container List

Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence, Board of Regents Agenda and Minutes, (photocopy) 1969-1971
2 Miscellaneous - Brochure "Rebel with a Cause", paper "Old Times There Are Not Forgotten" by Jim McClellan, statements by President Frank Harrison, resolution, list of Miss ASC-UTA and Miss Dixie Belle 1961-1970, book cover with Rebel Theme, drawing, 1968, 1970
3 News clippings - Rebel Theme Scrapbook, News and Information Service, 1968-1969
4 News clippings - Shorthorn and local newspapers, Reveille, 1965-1970
5 Newsletters - "Roaring Rebs", 1970-1972
6 News Releases, 1970-1971
7 Photographs - Johnny Reb, Johnny Aardvark, students, demonstrations, flag raising, rallies, 1965-1971
8 Photographs - Campus Scenes, demonstrations, not identified, approximately 1968-1971