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I hope you will join me in supporting the Magnolia State Heritage Campaign and their Heritage Initiative. We will finally get a chance to let the voters have a say in keeping Mississippi traditions, such as the beautiful, historic song “Dixie.”
For me, Colonel Reb is the tradition dearest to my heart. After the embarrassing bear was starting to be brought out, I said Colonel Reb has always been my mascot, and he always will be. As a girl raised in Mississippi, I thought of Colonel Reb as part of the family. Actually, it’s a tradition for us to think of Colonel Reb as a grandfatherly figure. The black bear can never be part of this family spirit. As an Ole Miss student, when I went to Atlantic City for Miss America, pageant girls representing states all across America recognized Colonel Reb as the mascot of my university. They knew Colonel Reb stands for the Southern hospitality we enjoy. My father once owned 28 home lots throughout the state of Mississippi, and his business logo was Colonel Reb! When I was decorating my son’s nursery, the Ole Miss colors and Colonel Reb were on his crib and all around his room!
This is why I ask you, the good people of Mississippi, to keep our traditions and not let them be taken away. They mean so much to my family and to families in every part of the Magnolia State.
Miss University 1985, Miss Mississippi 1985, and Miss America 1986"
THE BLACK BEAR CAN NEVER BE PART OF THIS FAMILY SPIRIT.