It’s a mascot! It’s a nickname! It’s a battle cry!
Call it what you want, but one thing is certain: If you’re an Auburn fan, you say it and hear it often and it will be a common phrase this weekend at the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.
For those not dressed head to toe in orange and blue, it can be confusing. What do those two words mean? Where did it come from?
Different versions exist of a legend that helps explain the slogan, which is most commonly used as a greeting. The most common story goes back to the beginning of the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.
Auburn and Georgia first played in 1892 and the story centers around a Civil War veteran who was in the stands with his pet eagle of almost 30 years. (Some say the man and the eagle had been the only ones to survive a devastating battle).
Witnesses claimed the eagle broke free at one point during the football game and began circling the field. As it soared above, Auburn ended up pulling out a thrilling victory over Georgia. Fans and students yelled “War Eagle” to spark their team.
Unfortunately, at the end of the game, the eagle took a dive, crashed and died. Still, the battle cry “War Eagle” lived on for decades.
Throughout Auburn’s history six birds have “served as the school’s symbol,” according to AuburnTigers.com. Before each Auburn home game, Spirit circles Jordan-Hare Stadium as a good omen for the Tiger team about to take the field. Normally, but not always, Spirit lands at midfield.
Spirit is the only bald eagle to fly over Jordan-Hare Stadium. Typically, a bald eagle symbolizes beauty, strength and freedom. The species is the national bird symbol of the United States. According to National Geographic, the bald eagle was removed from the endangered species list in 2007.
The post No matter the origin, Auburn fans universally know when to say ‘War Eagle’ appeared first on SEC Country.
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