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Butler High School was one of the first of Huntsville's public high schools to integrate, beginning in the spring of 1964 with two students. As integration continued, Butler saw mixed successes and setbacks in its progress. Butler Alumni who were at the school in 1971 recall clashes between students and administration at basketball and football games and at pep rallies. Of particular contention was the Butler High School fight song, "Dixie," the the use of the Confederate battle flag as the school flag representing the Butler Rebels. Students demonstrated both for and against the use of these school insignia, especially after June of 1971 when Judge H.H. Grooms ruled to prohibit students from displaying Confederate flags or sing "Dixie" at school events.


  • In October of 1970, Butler High students demonstrate against the use of Confederate insignia at the Huntsville Board of Education.
  • In 1971, Butler High students demonstrate in support of the use of the Confederate battle flag, after Judge Grooms ruled against the practice.
  • In the 1974-1975 school year, Butler's Chess Club demonstrates the school's integration successes. Pictured are (left to right) Sonnie Hereford IV, Patty Mollett, and Veral Hill.
Huntsville-Madison County Public Library Digital Collections, digitalarchives.hmcpl.org
Huntsville Civil Rights Timeline, www.rocketcitycivilrights.org
Huntsville African-American History Project, https://soundcloud.com/user-589730745