Group Calls on North Carolina to Change 'Tar Heels' Mascot

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A North Carolina group called the "Union Soldier Campaign" is urging the University of North Carolina to change its school's nickname from the Tar Heels.

The group claims the nickname has ties to the Confederacy and white supremacy. 

William Thorpe, 52, told the Raleigh News & Observer that Tar Heels "was re-appropriated during the Civil War to represent Confederate soldiers who held their ground against the 'northern aggression' and fought against the values and ideals of this country."

The Union Soldier Campaign marched to North Carolina's campus on Tuesday after starting at Bennett Place in Durham, the site of the last surrender of Confederate troops in the Civil War. They are urging North Carolina chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz to change the school's nickname "immediately," per the News & Observer's Kate Murphy

Proponents of the name change are looking to replace Tar Heels with Rams. The move would allow the university to keep its mascot, Rameses, who is named after former North Carolina football player Jack "battering ram" Merritt.