The University of North Dakota might soon need to replace the venerable Fighting Sioux nickname and logo. Why not use the official state horse, the Nokota, as the basis for a new nickname and logo? UND could become the Wild Nokotas or the Fighting Nokotas (or whatever adjective is appropriate).
Here are the reasons I believe the Nokota would make an outstanding new nickname for UND:
- The Nokota is an athletic horse known for its intelligence, independence, strength, stamina and ability to survive in harsh conditions. Therefore, the Nokota is the ideal symbol for a North Dakota-based athletic team.
- The name “Nokota” is a combination of the words “North” and “Dakota,” the name of the state and the university.
- The Nokota horse is unique to North Dakota. It’s not likely that any other university would use or adopt this name.
- The Nokota horse is indelibly linked to the state’s history, especially to some of the territory’s earliest and most famous inhabitants.
- The Nokota is already officially recognized as North Dakota’s state horse. Therefore, it makes perfect sense for the state’s flagship university to adopt the Nokota as the symbol of its athletic teams.
- Representing the people of North Dakota, the Nokota is a symbol in which everyone can take pride.
- The potential to develop a strong, striking logo and marketing themes based on the Nokota are nearly limitless.
- It’s likely that if UND changes its nickname, the vestiges of the old Fighting Sioux logo will remain in Ralph Engelstad Arena. A Nokota logo would not look incongruous next to the Fighting Sioux logo.
I encourage Sioux fans to visit the Nokota Horse Conservancy website to read about the Nokota breed and learn more about the efforts to preserve it. Any increased public exposure the Nokota receives could help raise awareness and assist in the effort to preserve an important part of North Dakota’s past.
UND’s hockey team is known nationwide and its other athletic teams will soon be competing on a national stage in NCAA Division I athletics. By adopting the Nokota horse as a nickname and logo, UND would get a terrific new identity and the efforts to preserve the Nokota horse would receive a boost.