‘The Yellow and the Green’ Finds Controversy

The lyrics to “The Yellow and the Green” as found in North Dakota Agricultural College’s Agassiz 1908 yearbook.

North Dakota State’s school song “The Yellow and the Green” is under review for cultural and racial references.

President Dean Bresciani said in a Listserv Wednesday that “through our University’s system for confidential reporting of bias issues, I’ve learned that the third stanza (of ‘The Yellow and the Green’)  contains a variety of cultural and ethnic references (toward both majority and minority populations) which by contemporary standards are troubling.”

Bresciani said two actions must be taken, the first being the immediate and intermediary removal of all but the first stanza of the song from all NDSU websites and publications.

The second task was to ask Provost Beth Ingram and Vice President for Student Affairs Timothy Alvarez to bring a faculty, staff and student group together to “study the song in its entirety and offer recommendations on the balance between our history and tradition of the song with contemporary concerns for its appropriateness.”

“My intention is that the thoughtful and respectful conversation our campus community has traditionally valued will come from doing so,” Bresciani said.

“I have never heard it beyond (the first stanza) and I suspect most in our University community are like me,” Bresciani said about the third stanza of the song.

The song, first published in The Spectrum in November 1907, was wrote by A.E. Minard.

Lyrics for the third stanza as found in the North Dakota Agricultural College 1908 yearbook are:

“Hushed upon the boundless prairies

Is the bison’s thundering tread,

And the red man passes with him

On his spoiler’s bounty fed.

But the Norse, the Celt and Saxon

With their herd increase and find

Mid these fields of green and yellow

Plenty e’en for all mankind.”

3 Replies to “‘The Yellow and the Green’ Finds Controversy”

  1. What utter BS….. Turning the university into a cuddley hug box is NOT constructive to learning. This is especially true when this kind of hypersensitivity creates an atmosphere where people are reluctant to question that status quo.

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