ST. GEORGE — In the wake of national tensions and riots stemming from race issues along with worldwide efforts to remove monuments and symbols associated with racism and the Confederacy, Southern Utah has found itself in the midst of a great debate surrounding its longtime nickname: “Utah’s Dixie.”
But as Southern Utah continues to make a name for itself in the national and global tourism arena, as well as in higher education and medicine, the debate about Southern Utah’s moniker raises several questions.
Is Dixie, which is most often associated with southern states and slavery, inherently racist? Does the name cause confusion for people who live outside the area? And can “No Filter’s” intrepid host, Grady Sinclair, get to the bottom of it?
Watch Grady enter the great “Dixie” debate in this week’s episode of “No Filter” in the media player above.
Sinclair tells the story of Robert Dockery Covington, who was sent to Southern Utah by then prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Brigham Young, to try to grow cotton. A former plantation manager and slave owner, Covington was a convert to the LDS church who nicknamed his new Southern Utah home “Dixie” after his original homeland.
The name stuck.
Today “Dixie” adorns the cliffs, is a part of the University’s name and is a popular business name across Washington County. It is is also synonymous, to many, of the hard work and perseverance of the early pioneers who settled the area as well as the welcoming attitude of the community that many call the “Dixie Spirit.”
In this episode of “No Filter,” Sinclair hits the streets of Washington County to suss out the true meaning of “Dixie” in Southern Utah and joins the great debate about whether to remove the name or keep it as is.
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