Admin makes freshman color switch from white to purple


Photo courtesy of Darina Miroedova

Class of 2022 in all white at the 2019 color wars assmbly.


School spirit shines through most at Lincoln during Color Wars, the annual culmination of Lincoln’s Spirit Week. Waves of white, green, blue, and red cover  the school hallways, and the Color Wars assembly can best be described as an ocean of multicolored blocks.

Color Wars is one of Lincoln’s long-standing traditions where each class wears a color assigned to their grade. 

For many years, freshmen have been assigned the color white. This summer, however, the administration made a decision to change the freshman color from white to purple after  freshman chanting “white power” during previous years’ Color Wars. 

Senior Jamie Odell contacted the administration this summer with concerns about these chants.

 “I was teaching a good-decision-making camp at Lincoln over the summer to incoming freshmen,” says Odell, “and the subject of Color Wars was brought to my attention… thinking back, I realized that I had heard people in the past scream “white power” or do Nazi salutes. Later that day, we both decided to bring it to Mrs. Klein-Wolf’s attention.”

The decision to change the freshmen’s color assignment was made near the end of summer, during an ASB training meeting. Students voiced their opinions, and the change was quickly made. While the color orange was in contention, purple was ultimately chosen for the freshmen.

Sophomore Justius Lowe said that he anticipated the “white power” chants would happen. “At the time, seniors were chanting ‘red power.’ With all the different colors, I knew that was going to pop up.”

Junior Chase Cohen expected the change from white to purple. “At all my summer camps, any time a group is assigned the color white, this always happens, and the colors are always changed,” says Cohen, “I’m surprised it wasn’t done earlier.” 

These changes raise questions for some at Lincoln as to whether Color Wars should be celebrated at all. 

Last year, in an interview for The Cardinal Times, German teacher Andy Duggan disagreed with the spirit celebration. “We need to look more critically at the concept of pride. We should not be teaching students to value their class or their school above others. It’s this sort of mentality that eventually leads to nationalism. Get rid of the ‘color wars.’ The title of this event is terrible in so many respects and it does not foster an environment of cooperation.”

Odell believes that changing the color is a positive step forward for the future of Lincoln.

 “This is a great opportunity for the admin and staff to really look into the deeply rooted racial issues at Lincoln,” says Odell, “as they are very much present, yet everyone chooses to ignore them.”