The Resilience of Southern Identity : Why the South Still Matters in the Minds of its People
Chapel Hill, NC
University of North Carolina Press
For most folks, the name Dixie State College probably conjures up images of an educational experience from a prior century, and one almost certainly located far south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Dixie State, however, isn't a historical artifact and isn't located in the Deep South. It is a modern four-year campus located in St. George, Utah—smack in the middle of Mormon country.
The area folklore suggests that it was Mormon leader Brigham Young who once coined this area of the country "Utah's Dixie," because of its warm climate and fertile land that was thought to be suitable for growing cotton. Many historians claim, however, that the name is not so benign, citing evidence that the area was home to many Confederate sympathizers. According to Utah historian Will Bagley, "the name Dixie reflects the sympathy that the southern Utah and the Mormon people felt for the Confederacy." Although the Dixie State College name did not invoke much protest in its early years, the name came under more scrutiny when coupled with a number of the school's institutions and practices that many felt were racially insensitive. [From the text]