#22. Alliance City Schools Adopt the Aviators as Their Mascot After Charles Lindbergh Flies over the City

Navy A-7 Corsair Jet installed at Alliance High School, December 7, 1991

Navy A-7 Corsair Jet installed at Alliance High School, December 7, 1991

On September 20, 1991, the Navy A-7 Corsair Jet that adorns the front lawn of Alliance High School was officially dedicated in a program before the student body. The planning and preparation for the ceremony and subsequent installation of the jet took 18 months and the final installation came on December 7, 1991, when the aircraft was hoisted onto the display mounts where the jet is tipping its wings to the Alliance High School sign.

But how did Alliance High School get its mascot and name? On August 3, 1927, famed aviator Charles Lindbergh flew over the city of Alliance and tipped his wings when he flew over the house of a friend who lived here. The tipping of wings by a pilot is a sign of recognition and their way to “say hello” as they fly over a familiar location.

In the years following this event, the High School adopted the name “Aviators” to refer to their sports teams. The first mention of the name for the football team is found in the January 1930 Chronicle and it is mentioned for basketball in the February 10, 1930 Red and Blue student newspaper.

ARGO dedication, August 4, 1928

ARGO dedication, August 4, 1928

During the dedication ceremony for the Jet, Sarah Brown, president of the Board of Education, referred to the appropriateness of selecting Aviators as the school’s mascot rather than a four-legged animal. First, she explained, that the Aviator is a two-legged thinking animal who is able to think critically and behave honorably. It also symbolizes Alliance’s connection to aviation history in te city. She concluded with a mention that the jet symbolizes freedom of flights of imagination that education provides and that all students are free to pursue their dreams to achieve great things.

The Alliance area first entered the aviation arena with the Argo bi-plane in 1927. In the 1930s and 1940s, Taylorcraft operated its factory here and gained a world-wide reputation for contributions made to aviation during World War II.

A DVD of the dedication ceremony is available for checkout from Rodman Public Library.