Does this Read too American?

One of my stories is set in a fictional town across from Sable Island, Nova-Scotia. 

I was thinking of naming the high school Liberty, and making the mascot a mustang (I realize the Sable Island horses are ponies), tying in some symbolism with the freedom of the horses who live on the Island. However, I'm worried Liberty High sounds too American.

Don't take this the wrong way, I've got nothing against Americans, the hang up is: Would it be plausible for a high school in Atlantic Canada to be named Liberty? Would it be plausible for the mascot to be a mustang?

Am I just overthinking this?



By EVie
September 2, 2014 3:02 PM

I do associate "Liberty" with America (and a very particular kind of rah-rah American patriotism, at that), but I'm American, and I don't know how the word is used and perceived in Canada. I wouldn't use the mustang as a symbol of anything Atlantic, though, whether American or Canadian--the mustang is very strongly associated with the West (so if the high school were in Alberta, sure, but not Nova Scotia). There are wild ponies that live on the islands off Virginia and North Carolina, and maybe there's something similar in Atlantic Canada, but as far as I know the American versions of those ponies are not called "mustangs."

Good job thinking about your world-building so thoroughly, though--it's that kind of attention to detail that makes the difference in crafting a really believable setting.

September 6, 2014 9:40 AM

I associate "Liberty" with the USA too, which is why I made this thread, I was wondering if others had the same associaiotion. I'm still not sure whether to use Liberty High or not.

I don't think the Sable Island ponies are ever called mustangs, but I was hoping for a tougher-sounding mascot. But I think I'll just go with ponies.

Thanks for the input!

By mk
September 2, 2014 4:19 PM

I think both are plausible, though having them together does make it sound a bit American.

Mascots don't have to be tied to an area, so really anything can work. I know several high schools in NY and New England that use the mustang as their mascot. But if you want something native to help get the feeling of the area across, mustang doesn't work. You could simply may the mascot the "Sable Island Pony". That is certainly plausible.

September 6, 2014 9:39 AM

I don't think I will be going with "Liberty High mustangs", but I might do "Liberty High ponies" or "Liberty High hawks". Or not use Liberty at all.

I know mascots don't have to be tied to geographics, so I'm considering going with hawks as a mascot, since it portrays the vibe I want from the school better. Not quite sure what I want out of the name/mascot exactly though.

Thanks for in input!

By EVie
September 6, 2014 10:45 PM

Hawks are very cool birds. If you want something more specific, the red-tailed hawk is very common across North America and would be a good choice. Other hawk-type birds that would be plausible for Nova Scotia and would make neat predatory mascots are the northern harrier, peregrine falcon, osprey or golden eagle.

September 8, 2014 4:54 PM

Thanks for the info! Useful links!

By mk
September 7, 2014 12:27 AM

Hawks would make a great mascot!

September 8, 2014 4:56 PM

Yeah, I was thinking hawks are cooler than ponies. Thanks!