Stop using the word “Dixie” in reference to St. George, Utah.

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During the civil war, "Dixie" was the rallying cry of the Confederacy. St. George Utah has a long history of divisiveness related to civil rights including rebel flags and confederate monuments embedded within Dixie University. Though the initial reference to St. George as Dixie may not have been directly connected to the confederacy, the surge of racial epithets gained steam throughout the community during the 1950's and 60's as part of an anti-civil rights and anti-integration movement. For example, Dixie State University's mascot was switched from the Flyers to the Confederate Rebels in 1951. The McGregor Hospital’s name was changed to Dixie Pioneer Memorial Hospital in 1952. By 1960, the Confederate Flag alongside the American Flag began to show up throughout the campus and community. Team uniforms began displaying the Confederate Flag and the year book move from the title "The Dixie" to "The Confederate". Even on D-day, the community paraded floats with confederate themes including black face, confederate costumes, confederate battle flags, and mock slave auctions. Racial slurs like black face and auctioning slaves can be found in high school year books up until the 1980's. Utah's Dixie started out as a peaceful connection to southern climate, sub-tropical growing zone, and a vacation spot to escape winter cold. Unfortunately, the community launched anti-civil rights efforts that forever connected the brand "Dixie" to a racial undertone and divisive overture. Our community must be a place of refuge and peace. It is unfathomable that leaders, businesses and the University in St. George insists on maintaining racial epithets in naming, brands and references. This must change and must change today. This petition is to discontinue using the word “Dixie” in reference to St. George and Southern Utah.