Where does War Eagle come from?
The cheer War Eagle is yelled at all Auburn University athletic events, but its exact origin is unknown.
According to one popular bit of university lore, a Civil War veteran kept an eagle he’d found on a battlefield as a pet, and one day in 1892 he brought the eagle with him to take in a game on the gridiron. The eagle got loose during the game and began circling the field, just as the Tigers gained the upper hand in the game.
According to another story, War Eagle comes from a malapropism of a player named Bald Eagle. Mistaken fans yelled War Eagle, instead, and a rallying cry was born.
Other origin stories include an eagle emblem that fell off a student’s military hat shortly before Auburn won a game and a Saxon war cry which referred to buzzards as war eagles. What’s certain is people in Auburn know to say War Eagle and not Roll Tide, the rallying cry of Auburn’s biggest rivals, the University of Alabama.
War Eagle is also not to be confused with Aubie the Tiger, which is the name of the official Auburn mascot.
Who uses War Eagle?
Its association with sports is not the only usage for War Eagle. It is also a name that students at the Auburn, Alabama school use to refer to themselves.
Auburn University fans and alumni use the term as a greeting and to show their support of the school. School paraphernalia such as hats and t-shirts sport the phrase, while Auburn fans show their dedication to all things Tigers with the hashtag "#WarEagle."
Boom!!!!!!!! War Eagle!
@CoachGusMalzahn, May, 2018
It felt good to walk into the school of a 2019 commit and the first person I see yells, “War Eagle!” 🔥🔥🦅🦅
@MarcusWoodsonAU, May, 2018
Play ball! ⚾ #WarEagle | #SECTourney
@AuburnBaseball, May, 2018