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Order restored: Victory Bell painting will go on

After a brief ban on painting the Victory Bell stand, the tradition -- in action here after UNC’s victory at Duke in 2014 -- will live on, after all.
After a brief ban on painting the Victory Bell stand, the tradition -- in action here after UNC’s victory at Duke in 2014 -- will live on, after all. rwillett@newsobserver.com

Our great national nightmare is over. The Victory Bell stand will be painted, after all.

And here we all were: stunned after the dramatic news earlier this week. It was a development that sent waves of shock reverberating throughout the land: the Victory Bell, the ultimate symbol of triumph in the Duke-North Carolina football rivalry, had received a makeover.

No one could believe it. No one could make sense of it. This was a new world: the Victory Bell stand was no longer Carolina blue, as it had been since November 2014 after the Tar Heels’ victory at Duke, but now it was half Carolina blue and half Duke blue, a symbol of neutrality with both schools’ logos on it.

And it would stay that way, according to Bubba Cunningham, the UNC athletic director. The tradition of painting the bell stand in the victorious team's shade of blue was no more. After much outcry, though, and protest, this great experiment has ended, and just in time for UNC’s game at Duke on Thursday.

Earlier on Wednesday Cunningham released a statement:

“After talking to our football team and hearing from many of our fans, we have decided to maintain the tradition of the winning team painting the stand for the Victory Bell in its school colors. We are glad to see the passion and support for the game and the Victory Bell and await an exciting and entertaining contest tomorrow evening. We will continue to share with people the history of the rivalry and the Victory Bell, while preserving the winning team’s enthusiasm for displaying their triumphant shade of blue.”

And so order has been restored.

Andrew Carter: 919-829-8944, @_andrewcarter

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