With controversies over mascots—deemed racist by many--Douglas Freeman High School made the decision to change from the Rebels, a nickname for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.
This icon has served as a polarizing subject for years, even serving as the focus for a 2014 Washington Post article.
This fall, school administrators are joining forces with students at VCU Brandcenter to overhaul the identity for the Tuckahoe, VA-based school. VCU provided identity development, which ultimately sparked a multi-month volunteer project for a team of nine students and two volunteer mentors who are alums from both Freeman High School and the Brandcenter: Steven Ebert, Lead Strategist at Sylvain Labs New York, and Newman Granger, Strategy Director at Wieden + Kennedy New York.
After weeks of focus groups, an online survey, and interviews with Freeman students, faculty, and staff, VCU suggested Mavericks as the new name.
This decision was driven by the term’s definition as an independent-minded person. The makeover includes new design layouts, including grey and navy graphic images incorporating M as the focus. This name change was announced using Kenny Loggins’ classic “Danger Zone” theme song from the movie “Top Gun.”
The movie famously featured a character named Maverick.