School Nicknames, Colors

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School Nicknames, Colors


The recent furor over the school colors at Madison Middle brought to mind the various colors and nicknames of our local schools in my lifetime. My high school and college days were all color oriented. Model students played ball at Madison, using the name Madison-Model. So, I started out with Purples, or to be exact, Royal Purples. Purple and white were the school colors from its beginning in 1920-22. I don't know what the school colors were at Caldwell High, which preceded Madison. Old Central University's colors were Cream and Crimson. When I went on to college at Eastern I joined the Maroons. I never was anything but a color, Purples and then Maroons! Color was also found in other local schools. There were the Central Scarlets, the Kirksville Blue Jays, and the Waco Cardinals. Over in Irvine were the Golden Eagles. Schools without color in their nicknames were the Kingston Trojans, Berea High Pirates, Berea Academy-Foundation Lions, Estill County Engineers (from the railroad shops there), Richmond Ramblers and Berea College Mountaineers. New in the field are the Madison Southern Eagles. When the four county high schools were merged, Madison Central took the name Indians. Back in the 1960's Coach Roy Kidd's Madison-Model football teams won with regularity, going to the state finals at old Stoll field one year. Jealousy caused defeated opponents to complain and the Kentucky High School Athletic Association broke up the 25 year connecting link between the two schools. Model High began fielding separate teams in the midst of the Civil War centennial celebration, including a pageant on the Battle of Richmond, so they chose the nickname Rebels. A few years later political pressure forced them to change the name to Patriots. I wonder if political correctness will force Central to drop the name Indians. Can anyone tell me the nicknames of earlier county high schools, such as Bobtown, Red House, and White Hall? I am glad the county board decided to keep the purple and white colors at Madison. They have been there for 70 years. May they last another 70!


Dr. Fred Engle




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Dr. Fred Engle, “School Nicknames, Colors,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed June 15, 2024,