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Naval Academy Won’t Put Warpaint On Tecumseh Statue Before Army-Navy Football Game

SHUTTERSTOCK/Joseph Sohm

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The U.S. Naval Academy will not allow cadets to decorate the school’s Tecumseh statue in warpaint ahead of the Army-Navy football game, a school spokesperson announced Sunday.

Midshipmen traditionally paint the statue ahead of the Army-Navy football game and other events over concern that the practice was offensive, the Capital Gazette reported.

The fall midshipmen painted panels beneath cannons at the entryway to Tecumseh Court as an alternative, said Cmdr. Alana Garas, spokesperson for the Naval Academy, according to the Capital Gazette. (RELATED: Naval Academy Board Chair Calls To Rename School Buildings Honoring Confederate Officers)

“During the pause we are listening to those who consider the practice of painting Tecumseh inappropriate and offensive, as well as those who view it as a time-honored tradition,” Garas said in an email, according to the Capital Gazette.

Garas said painting the statue was suspended for the semester after the Brigade of Midshipmen, faculty, alumni and staff weighed in on the matter, according to the Capital Gazette.

Although the statue is usually painted in war paint, midshipmen sometimes branch off with something else, such as the Hulk theme in 2017, the Capital Gazette reported. The statue is the only one on the academy’s campus that commemorates indigenous people, Garas said.

The Army-Navy football game is coming up on Saturday, Fox News reported. The game is happening at West Point, the Capital Gazette reported.

Originally a figurehead on the USS Delaware in the 1820s, the statue was given to the academy in 1876 after the ship was recovered from from where it was sunk during the Civil War, according to another Capital Gazette report.

The statue was named after the famous Shawnee tribe chief, but had been shaped on a wooden bust after peaceful Delaware Indian chieftain Tamanend, the Capital Gazette reported.

The U.S. Naval Academy didn’t immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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