BHS Yellowjacket Mascot Sparks Controversy
Mascots are a central component to rallying school spirit, so the selection of the name and symbol is an important process. Whatever is chosen as a school’s mascot can say a lot about that institution. With many creative names already used up (the Banana Slugs, the Artichokes, the Corn Huskers etc.), schools are bound to repeat mascots, especially when it comes to animals. From the most common mammals, such as lions, tigers and bears. This common repetition has been seen across the nation in many high schools and colleges alike, but two colleges in the nation, one that uses the exact same insect, share our very own Berkeley High School Yellowjacket.
The mighty Yellowjacket represents both the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Rochester. Established in 1850, Rochester is the oldest of the three schools, though they call their mascot Rocky, and he doesn’t look that much like our beloved Yellowjacket.
Coming into existence thirty or so years later, BHS radically changed the appearance of the Yellowjacket mascot. The first high school classes held at BHS were held in 1880 at the Kellogg Primary School, located on the corner of Oxford and Center — the current location of a Starbucks. The first graduating class was in 1884 — barely predating the establishment of Georgia Tech in 1885. This is where it gets tricky — who claims the original rights to the Yellowjacket mascot? If you look at the current images, the BHS and Georgia Tech mascots, both named Buzz, are exactly alike. Although Georgia Tech officially adopted their version of the mascot in 1972, its students were referred to as Yellowjackets as early as 1905, due to the apparel they would wear to athletic events. BHS records, however, are unclear about the date of the adoption of our own Yellowjacket.