Little by little over time, Ole Miss has attempted to distance itself from its confederate-tied history. Its latest move involves nixing a game-day marching band routine.
Per Mississippi Today, Ole Miss' marching band, The Pride of the South, will no longer play the song "Dixie" or any variation of it during game days. According to Alex McDaniel of the Oxford Eagle, this includes pre-game and post-game routines.
And to clarify, this applies to Grove, pre-game, post-game, everything.— Alex McDaniel (@AlexMcDaniel) August 19, 2016
The university's athletic department made the decision over the summer after at least a year-long attempt to rid the song, described as the "unofficial anthem of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War," from athletic events. Variations of "Dixie" had been played over the years, but the university cut down on the number of instances during the 2015-16 seasons. A previous attempt to sever ties with "Dixie" came in 2009 when then-chancellor Dan Jones asked the band to stop playing "From Dixie with Love."
Fully removing"Dixie" from the game-day routine was done to make events more inclusive.
"The newly expanded and renovated Vaught-Hemingway Stadium will further highlight our best traditions and create new ones that give the Ole Miss Rebels the best home field advantage in college football," Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork said in a statement to the Eagle. "Because the Pride of the South is such a large part of our overall experience and tradition, the athletics department asked them to create a new and modern pregame show that does not include Dixie and is more inclusive for all fans."
That feeling of inclusiveness has been building over time. In 2003, Colonel Reb, the school's longtime mascot, was removed from the sidelines of games. In 2010, Ole Miss underwent a rebrand by choosing a new mascot, Rebel Black Bear.
Of course, the ultimate move would be to remove the word "Rebel" from athletic team names. In the meantime, parting ways with "Dixie" has been a long time coming.
No word yet if any marching band members have opposed removing "Dixie" by citing bands' rights.