Northwest Missouri town divided by move to change its ‘Savages’ mascot

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Savannah map graphic

SAVANNAH, Mo. — A northwest Missouri town is debating whether to change its high school’s “Savages” mascot name.

The debate has split Savannah.

The nearly all-white town has about 5,000 residents and is an hour north of Kansas City. “Savages” has been the mascot since at least 1926 and is emblazoned across the town. Next to the word is often a depiction of a Native-American adorned with feathers.

Racial inequality protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis prompted town residents to start a petition to change the mascot. That’s led to a counter-petition to keep it.

A large crowd nearly evenly split on the issue attended a Savannah school board meeting in July.  It’s unclear if the board will take action.

Savannah is located in Andrew County, about 13 miles north of St. Joseph. The town has a little more than 5,000 people, according to the 2010 census.

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