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Out with the old, in with the new: Are the Linganore Longhorns our future?

A+group+of+Longhorns+roam+the+fields+on+the+borders+of+Linganore+High+School.
Mia Lucas
A group of Longhorns roam the fields on the borders of Linganore High School.

The history of the Linganore High School mascot is one fraught with controversy, stemming primarily from the Native American imagery associated with it. In addition to generating an ongoing source of debate, this aspect of the school’s mascot has also caused many students discomfort.

Linganore Sophomore, Ava Walsh said, “It definitely makes me uncomfortable being in a school with a mascot like that, because racially and culturally, it is not okay.”

In response to these issues, Linganore has almost completely removed the Native American imagery from the school’s branding. Currently, the school mascot is still the Lancer; however, the school symbol has been reduced to a simple arrowhead. While this symbol is a definite improvement over the offensive depiction of a Native American warrior that used to act as the emblem for the school, it still leaves a lot to be desired. As the representation of the school, it is extremely vague in what it is supposed to symbolize, leading many students to be unsure of what exactly the mascot even is. 

This sentiment is echoed by Student Service Learning Coordinator Jeremy Brown. “While LHS has the arrowhead logo, the school does not have anything that could really be considered an actual school mascot.” 

In response to the present situation, it is possible some students may propose bringing back some of the more overt Native American imagery in order to give the school a strong identity. More than likely, this approach will not be accepted by many students and community members who find this imagery offensive. This leaves LHS two options for moving forward: stick with the current, vague and rather bland imagery that currently represents the school or create a new and exciting mascot that can truly represent Linganore without serving as a reminder of a racist past.

The benefits of the latter option would include creating a strong sense of identity within the community and, If the mascot is well liked, it will increase unity and school spirit among the student body, present and future. 

When it comes to creating a new mascot there are many questions to address. First and foremost, what should the new mascot be? In the opinion of many students, it should be something memorable, something exciting, and, in order to avoid the issues with our mascot in the past, something the entire Linganore community can support. 

“A school mascot should be something that represents what Linganore is,” said Senior Class President Grace Booth. 

Finding a mascot that fits all of the previously listed criteria and represents what Linganore is seems like a difficult task; however, the perfect mascot happens to literally be standing right in front of the school. 

 

Longhorns enjoy early morning grazing while students and staff arrive at Linganore High School. (Victoria Benson)

That perfect mascot, of course, is the Longhorn. The majestic animals that graze in front of the school, welcoming students and staff as they arrive each morning, are the perfect choice for Linganore’s new mascot. They are totally inoffensive, would lend themselves well to branding and school merchandise due to their striking look, and would represent the school far better than the Lancer ever did.

 

Another boon in favor of the Linganore Longhorns is that the name would retain the alliteration of the previous Linganore Lancers moniker. This would pay homage to our school’s history in a fun and subtle way, without making reference to its more problematic aspects. Alliteration also ensures that the name sounds very natural.

Making this change would not be overly difficult or costly for the school. Most of the old Lancer branding has already been removed from the school, so re branding the actual building would be a relatively simple task. 

There is no significant reason not to instate the Longhorn as the new mascot for Linganore. For years now, the school has been lacking an identity acceptable to all, leading some students to hesitate in embracing school spirit because of the controversial mascot. 

Linganore is overdue for a shakeup, and that shakeup should be the beautiful barbed bovines just a few steps from the front door as the new mascot for the school.

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