Florida State's "war chant" appears to have begun with a random occurrence
that took place during a 1984 game against Auburn, but in the 1960s, the
Marching Chiefs band would chant the melody of a
popular FSU cheer. In a sense that chant was the long version of FSU's current
"war chant." During a thrilling game with Auburn in 1984, the Marching Chiefs
began to perform the dormant melody. Some students behind the band joined in and
continued the "war chant" portion after the band had ceased. Most agree the
chant came from the fraternity section, but many spirited Seminole fans added
the hand motion to symbolize the brandishing of a tomahawk.
The chant continued among the student body during the 1985 season, and by the
1986 season, it was a stadium-wide phenomenon. Of course, the Marching Chiefs
refined the chant, plus put their own special brand of accompaniment to the "war
chant," for the sound we hear today.
Atlanta Braves fans took up their version of the song and chant when former FSU
star Deion Sanders came to the plate as an outfielder. The Kansas City Chiefs
first heard it when the Northwest Missouri State band, directed by 1969 FSU
graduate Al Sergel, performed the chant while the players were warming up for a
game against San Diego.