East High School alumni 'seeing red' over a new orange school sign

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Posted at 5:41 PM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 19:54:52-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — For some people, no matter how many years it's been, that school spirit never dies. That's certainly the case for several alumni of Nashville's historic East High School. A mystery surrounding a new school sign is uniting past and present students.

"Everybody was not happy, very annoyed," said Mary Rainey, East High School's Class of 1970.

Several proud alumni are "seeing red" all because the new school sign isn't red enough. "How dare they? Because it was almost like taunting us," said Marie Cobbs, Class of 1979.

"Yes we are red and gray, and always have been red and gray," said Rainey.
"And what color is that sign?" asked NewsChannel 5's Chris Davis.
"It is very orange," she replied.

Cobbs was the first to catch the color confusion. "Somebody is either color blind or they missed the mark," said Cobbs.

All it took was her posting on their alumni Facebook page to cause these Eagles to screech. "And the alumni went ballistic," said Cobbs.

They flooded MNPS and NewsChannel 5's newsroom with calls and emails. "Everybody just started responding really quickly," said Rainey.

At this point, it's fair to wonder why the wrong shade of red would cause this much rage. Maybe it's the fact orange is the color of their biggest rival — Stratford High School. "It took me all the way back into the 70s like, is it a joke? It’s like there’s a joke," said Cobbs.

Metro Nashville Public Schools assure NewsChannel 5, this was no joke. In fact, they sent us a copy of their order form to the sign company. We showed the form to Rainey and Cobbs.

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This is a portion of MNPS's order form for the new sign, showing the intended color pallette.

"Well that looks a little more red than what the sign appears to be now," said Rainey. "That is red, that is orange."

MNPS says they're going to physically send somebody out to look at the sign and if the color doesn't match what they ordered, they'll work with the vendor to fix it. "The sign company needs to make it right," said Rainey.

You can be sure, they'll stay passionate about it until that shade of red is just right. "And I’ll keep an eye out because I’m here twice a day," said Cobbs.