Quartz Hill High School will drop the ‘Rebels’ mascot

Quartz Hill High School located in the Antelope Valley, 60 miles north-east from Los Angeles, announced it is dropping its mascot. The Quartz Hill Rebels are no more. Instead, the Rebels will get called… something else.

A small yet vocal group of people decided the name and mascot were racially insensitive. For years the mascot was a cartoony Confederate officer brandishing a sword. For the longest time, there was even a Confederate battle flag hanging in the school gym. I know these things because I was a Quartz Hill Rebel, class of ’82.

Quartz Hill High School will drop the 'Rebels' mascot - Bent Corner
Does this image look like it was honoring white supremacy?

At no time while going to Quartz Hill High School did I connect any of the school’s Confederate trappings to racism or white supremacy. Maybe I was just nieve. White kids and Black kids didn’t separate themselves from each other. We were all one student body in that regard. People hung out in groups, but the groups weren’t based on race. You had the jocks, rich kids, and the stoners. There were also a lot of smaller groups. I hung out with the drama geeks and the nerds. I spent many a lunch period playing Steve Jackson’s Ogre. One of the schools’s English teachers opened his classroom up at lunch of people to play board games. Goodtimes.

Not in my four years going there did I hear the N-word spoken. I didn’t know any racist kids.

In my mind, it feels like they’re trying to fix a past wrong that doesn’t exist. Don’t like the cartoony Civil War officer? Fine. No problem. That changed some time ago.

Quartz Hill High School will drop the 'Rebels' mascot - Bent Corner
So a guy with a cowboy hat is somehow pro-slavery?

The gym no longer has a Confederate battle flag on the wall. I don’t know if its removal was controversial. It was removed after I graduated and before the advent of social media. How did we learn about things before Facebook and Twitter?

I was and will always be a Quartz Hill Rebel

It doesn’t matter what my old school chooses to be its new mascot. I will always be a Quartz Hill Rebel. There was never any malice or racism involved with the mascot. If there was even a whiff of racism or white supremacy associated with it, I’d feel much differently. This move makes me sad because I know our school didn’t have problems with racism. We weren’t a bunch of neo confederates waiting for the day when the South would rise again and the institution of slavery could be brought back.

Quartz Hill High School is in California, not Alabama.

The powers that be should have found a way to retain the Rebel name, yet purge any remaining connections to the Confederacy. Assuming there are any remaining connections. Not all rebels are pro-slavery Confederates. The good guys in Star Wars were rebels. The word “rebel” is not a dirty word.

In conclusion

I’ll close things out by posting our school song.

Where the almond blossoms bloom
And the mountains meet the sky
Stands our alma mater dear
Grand old Quartz Hill High
Quartz Hill High
Quartz Hill High
To you we’ll all be true
Tho’ the years pass swiftly by
We’re loyal to the gold and blue.

5 thoughts on “Quartz Hill High School will drop the ‘Rebels’ mascot”

    1. I just think this whole thing is depressing. To the best of my knowledge, any connections to the American Civil War and the Confederacy had already been severed from the school. There was no need to remove the name “rebel.” It was done to pander to a small, yet vocal group.

      Rebel is not a dirty word. This country was founded by rebels.

  1. I was a member of the very first classes of Quartz Hill High School. We were sent to the Antelope Valley Fair Grounds, with classes in the barns that the displays were set up in during the actual fair. There were only two classes at that time, Freshmen and Sophomores. I was a member of the Sophomore class.
    I was a member of the first Junior Varsity football team. We didn’t do well that year but we tried. There were only 7 of us that were big enough to meet the weight requirements to be classified as JV. Our backfield was filled in with B team players. We had to use the Junior College (I don’t remember its name) field for our practices. It was an interesting time. Nowhere in our literature did they truly refer to the Confederacy or slavery.
    As the gentleman above pointed out, our country was founded by a bunch of Rebels or I am sure that is what King George thought and if they had gotten ahold of them they would have all perished (hung as traitors).
    I realize that some people are not treated well, but that is because some other people like to foster animosity among groups for their own selfish interests. The rest of us have to suffer through their discontent. But not all of us are like that and we should not be held responsible for their actions, just like not all people from any group should not be held responsible for other factions in their group.
    I do not believe that history should be buried or destroyed for what has been done in the past. I can’t remember who said it, but the gist of it was those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.
    I will always remember my time at Quartz Hill High School fondly and I will always be proud of being a Rebel. I hope that people come to their senses and remember that this country was founded on certain principles. Freedom of Religion, Speech, the Press, etc. And once again I can’t remember where it came from, but it was once said, I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. We need to be more tolerant on all sides.
    I guess I should get out of this. I hope they change their minds and retain the schools heritage.

    1. Hi Robert. I graduated 1968 and played a couple years of losing football. The Fairgrounds still live in memory with the green plywood walls and open ceiling such that you could hear the ruckus of next door classes. I don’t think any of us thought in racial terms , about slavery or sympathy for the Confederacy then. We had very liberal teachers and I don’t remember any having a problem with the Rebel theme. But time passes and perceptions change. I don’t have a problem with contemporary “Rebels” adjusting to whatever is more comfortable. The Confederate flag shouldn’t be displayed in a public high school gym. I say that as a “deplorable” in the current parlance.

      BTW, did you know Tyrus on Fox News went to QHHS, 1990 I think? Would love to know what he thought of the Rebel theme.

  2. I graduated QHHS 1968 and like Robert went to the fairgrounds campus and played 2 losing years of football for QHHS. The original QHHS mascot was Jubilation T. Cornpone, a character from Al Capp’s Little Abner cartoon. I don’t think anybody thought the Rebel thing was a Confederate or racist thing. The teachers who advised those early days were pretty liberal.

    I understand that the Rebel theme doesn’t stand up to the test of time or “wokeness”. If it had to be replaced – so be it. Being there at the founding in 1964 gives me some right to say that. It’s not a very important hill on which to fight a last stand.

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