Removal of Confederate monuments and memorials

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The Robert E. Lee monument in New Orleans being lowered, May 19, 2017

For decades in the U.S., there have been isolated incidents of removal of Confederate monuments and memorials, although generally opposed in public opinion polls, and several U.S. States have passed laws over 115 years to hinder or prohibit further removals.

In the wake of the Charleston church shooting in June 2015, several municipalities in the United States removed monuments and memorials on public property dedicated to the Confederate States of America. The momentum accelerated in August 2017 after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.[1][2][3] The removals were driven by the belief that the monuments glorify white supremacy and memorialize a government whose founding principle was the perpetuation and expansion of slavery.[4][5][6][7][8] Many of those who object to the removals, like President Trump, claim that the artifacts are part of the cultural heritage of the United States.[9]

The vast majority of these Confederate monuments were built during the era of Jim Crow (1877–1954) and the Civil Rights Movement (1954–1968) as a means of intimidating African Americans and reaffirming white supremacy.[10][11][12] The monuments have thus become highly politicized; according to Eleanor Harvey, a senior curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and a scholar of Civil War history: "If white nationalists and neo-Nazis are now claiming this as part of their heritage, they have essentially co-opted those images and those statues beyond any capacity to neutralize them again".[4]

Civil War historian James I. Robertson Jr. referred to the current climate to dismantle or destroy Confederate monuments as an "age of idiocy" and motivated by "elements hell-bent on tearing apart unity that generations of Americans have painfully constructed" and the monuments were not a "Jim Crow signal of defiance."[13]

In some Southern states, state law restricts the removal or alteration of public Confederate monuments. According to Stan Deaton, senior historian at the Georgia Historical Society, "These laws are the Old South imposing its moral and its political views on us forever more. This is what led to the Civil War, and it still divides us as a country. We have competing visions not only about the future but about the past."[14]

As Southern novelist William Faulkner famously put it, in the American South "the past is never dead. It's not even past."[15]

Background[edit]

Chart of public symbols of the Confederacy and its leaders as surveyed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, by year of establishment.[16]

Most of the Confederate monuments concerned were built in periods of racial conflict, such as when Jim Crow laws were being introduced in the late 19th century and at the start of the 20th century or during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.[a][b] These two periods also coincided with the 50th anniversary and the American Civil War Centennial.[18] The peak in construction of Civil War Monuments occurred between the late 1890s up to 1920, with a second, smaller peak in the late 1950s to mid 1960s.[19]

According to historian Jane Dailey from University of Chicago, in many cases the purpose of the monuments was not to celebrate the past but rather to promote a "white supremacist future".[20] Another historian, Karyn Cox, from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, has written that the monuments are "a legacy of the brutally racist Jim Crow era".[21] A historian from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, James Leloudis, stated that "The funders and backers of these monuments are very explicit that they are requiring a political education and a legitimacy for the Jim Crow era and the right of white men to rule."[22]

Adam Goodheart, Civil War author and director of the Starr Center at Washington College, stated in National Geographic: "They're 20th-century artifacts in the sense that a lot of it had to do with a vision of national unity that embraced Southerners as well as Northerners, but importantly still excluded black people."[4]

Academic commentary[edit]

In an August 2017 statement on the monuments controversy, the American Historical Association (AHA) said that to remove a monument "is not to erase history, but rather to alter or call attention to a previous interpretation of history." The AHA noted that most monuments were erected "without anything resembling a democratic process," and recommended that it was "time to reconsider these decisions." According to the AHA, most Confederate monuments were erected during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and this undertaking was "part and parcel of the initiation of legally mandated segregation and widespread disenfranchisement across the South." According to the AHA, memorials to the Confederacy erected during this period "were intended, in part, to obscure the terrorism required to overthrow Reconstruction, and to intimidate African Americans politically and isolate them from the mainstream of public life." A later wave of monument building coincided with the civil rights movement, and according to the AHA "these symbols of white supremacy are still being invoked for similar purposes."[23]

According to historian Adam Goodheart, the statues were meant to be symbols of white supremacy and the rallying around them by white supremacists will likely hasten their demise.[24] Elijah Anderson, a professor of sociology at Yale University, said the statues "really impacts the psyche of black people."[25] Harold Holzer, the director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, agreed that the statues were designed to belittle African Americans.[26] Dell Upton, chair of the Department of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles, wrote that "the monuments were not intended as public art," but rather were installed "as affirmations that the American polity was a white polity," and that because of their explicitly white supremacist intent, their removal from civic spaces was a matter "of justice, equity, and civic values."[12] In a 1993 book, author Frank McKenney argued otherwise; "These monuments were communal efforts, public art, and social history," he wrote.[27] Ex-soldiers and politicians had difficult time raising funds to erect monuments so the task mostly fell to the women, the "mothers widows, and orphans, the bereaved fiancees and sisters" of the soldiers who had lost their lives.[28] Many ladies' memorial associations were formed in the decades following the end of the Civil War, most of them joining the United Daughters of the Confederacy following its inception in 1894. The women were advised to "remember that they were buying art, not metal and stone;"[29] The history the monuments celebrated told only one side of the story, however—one that was "openly pro-Confederate," Upton argues. Furthermore, Confederate monuments were erected without the consent or even input of Southern African-Americans, who remembered the Civil War far differently, and who had no interest in honoring those who fought to keep them enslaved.[12] According to Civil War historian Judith Giesberg, professor of history at Villanova University, "White supremacy is really what these statues represent."[30]

Robert Seigler in his study of Confederate monuments in South Carolina found that out of the over one hundred and seventy that he documented, only five monuments were found dedicated to the African Americans who had been used by the Confederacy working "on fortifications, and had served as musicians, teamsters, cooks, servants, and in other capacities," four of those were to slaves and one to a musician, Henry Brown.[31]

Cheryl Benard, president of the Alliance for the Restoration of Cultural Heritage,[32] argued against the removal of Confederate war monuments in an op-ed for the National Interest, writing, "From my vantage point, the idea that the way to deal with history is to destroy any relics that remind you of something you don't like, is highly alarming."[33] Bernard compares the removal to "historic cleansing" in other countries, stating "Tour the archaeological ruins of any formerly great civilization, and you will invariably encounter inscriptions that have been chiseled away, faces that have been obliterated, heads that have been struck off the rumps of their statues. Someone overthrows or assassinates a predecessor and orders his or her name and image removed. ... What could have remained is their story, and any lessons later humans might draw from it."[33]

Eric Foner, a historian of the Civil War and biographer of Lincoln, argued that more statues of African-Americans like Nat Turner should be constructed.[25] Alfred Brophy, a professor of law at the University of Alabama, argued the removal of the Confederate statues "facilitates forgetting", although these statues were "re-inscribed images of white supremacy". Brophy also stated that the Lee statue in Charlottesville should be removed.[25]

History of removals[edit]

Planned removal of the Robert Edward Lee Sculpture in Charlottesville, Va. sparked protests and counter-protests, resulting in three deaths.[34]

The removals were marked by events in Louisiana and Virginia within the span of two years. In Louisiana, after the Charleston church shooting of 2015, the city of New Orleans removed its Confederate memorials two years later.[35] A few months later, in August 2017, a state of emergency was declared in Virginia after a Unite the Right rally against the removal of the Robert Edward Lee statue in Charlottesville turned violent.[36]

Other events followed across the United States. In Baltimore, for example, the city's Confederate statues were removed on the night of August 15–16, 2017. Mayor Catherine Pugh said that she ordered the overnight removals to preserve public safety.[37][38] Similarly, in Lexington, Kentucky, Mayor Jim Gray asked the city council on August 16, 2017 to approve the relocation of two statues from a courthouse.[39][40]

A different event occurred in Durham, North Carolina, where several protesters toppled the Confederate Soldiers Monument outside the Old Durham County Courthouse on August 15, 2017. Eight activists were arrested in connection with the action,[41], but the charges were dropped. The following year, Silent Sam, a commemorative statue at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was toppled by as-yet unidentified protestors, after a long history of protests, defacing, and attempts to get it removed. What is to happen to the toppled statue is a statewide issue that has not yet (August, 2018) been decided.

In the three years since the Charleston shooting, Texas has removed 31 memorials –the most removals of any state.[42]

Laws hindering removals[edit]

In Alabama (2017), Georgia (early 20th century),[43] Mississippi (2004), North Carolina (2015), South Carolina (2000), Tennessee (2013, updated 2016), and Virginia (1902), state laws have been passed to impede, or in the case of Alabama prohibit,[44] the removal or alteration of public Confederate monuments. In the case of North Carolina, removal requires legislative approval, and is allowed only if a move is necessary to preserve the object or because of construction.[45] Under the law, monuments that are permanently relocated have to go to sites of similar "prominence, honor, visibility, (and) availability." They can't go to a museum, cemetery, or mausoleum unless they originated from a similar place.[46] Attempts to repeal these laws have not (2018) been successful. Alabama's law, the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act, was passed in May 2017, North Carolina's law in 2015.[47] Tennessee passed its Tennessee Heritage Protection Act in 2016; it requires a ⅔ majority of the Tennessee Historical Commission to rename, remove, or relocate any public statue, monument, or memorial.[48] According to the New York Times, the Tennessee act shows "an express intent to prevent municipalities in Tennessee from taking down Confederate memorials."[49] In 2018, an amendment prohibited municipalities from selling or transferring ownership of memorials without a waiver. (The Tennessee Historical Commission has never issued a waiver since it was established in 1919.) The amendment also "allows any entity, group or individual with an interest in a Confederate memorial to seek an injunction to preserve the memorial in question."[50]

The removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina capitol required a 2/3 vote of both houses of the legislature, as would the removal of any other Confederate monument.[51]

Confederate monuments are largely located in cities, which, like other American cities, in the twentieth century became more black and more liberal politically than the remainder of the states in which they are located.

Public opinion[edit]

A 2017 Reuters poll found that 54% of American adults stated that the monuments should remain in all public spaces, and 27% said they should be removed, while 19% said they were unsure. The results were split along racial and political lines, with Republicans and whites preferring to keep the monuments in place, while Democrats and minorities preferring their removal.[52][53] Another 2017 poll, by HuffPost/YouGov, found that 33% of respondents favored removal while 48% were opposed, with roughly 18% unsure about removal.[54][55]

Removed monuments and memorials[edit]

National[edit]

  • Fort Bliss
    • After receiving complaints, Forrest Road was renamed Cassidy Road, in honor of the Lt. Gen. Richard T. Cassidy, former post commander.[56]

Alabama[edit]

  • Capitol: On June 24, 2015, in the wake of the Charleston church shooting on June 17, 2015, on the order of Governor Robert J. Bentley, the four Confederate flags and their poles were removed from the Confederate Memorial Monument.[57]
  • Birmingham
    • In August 2017, immediately after William A. Bell, the mayor of Birmingham, draped a Confederate memorial with plastic and surrounded it with plywood with the rationale "This country should in no way tolerate the hate that the KKK [Ku Klux Klan], neo-Nazis, fascists and other hate groups spew", Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall sued Bell and the city for violating a new (2017) state law that prohibits the "relocation, removal, alteration, or other disturbance of any monument on public property that has been in place for 40 years or more".[58]
  • Demopolis
    • Confederate Park. Renamed "Confederate Park" in 1923 at the request of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. A Confederate soldier statue was erected in 1910 at the intersection of North Main Avenue and West Capital Street adjacent to the Park. It was destroyed on July 16, 2016, when a policeman accidentally crashed his patrol car into the monument. The statue fell from its pedestal and was heavily damaged. In 2017, Demopolis city government voted 3–2 to move the damaged Confederate statue to a local museum and to install a new obelisk memorial that honors both the Union and the Confederate soldiers.[59][60]

Arkansas[edit]

  • Fort Smith:
    • Southside High School: Until 2016, the school nickname was the Rebels. Its mascot was Johnny Reb, a fictional personification of a Confederate soldier. The school also discontinued the use of "Dixie" as its fight song.[61]
  • Little Rock:
    • Confederate Boulevard was renamed to Springer Boulevard in 2015. The new name honors an African-American family prominent in the area since the Civil War.[62]

California[edit]

  • Confederate Corners: Established 1868. Formerly known as Springtown, it was renamed after a group of Southerners settled there in the late 1860s.[63][64] Name changed back to "Springtown" in 2018.[65]
  • Long Beach
    • Robert E. Lee Elementary School. Renamed Olivia Herrera Elementary School on August 1, 2016.[66]
  • Los Angeles
  • San Diego
    • Robert E. Lee Elementary School, established 1959. Renamed Pacific View Leadership Elementary School on May 22, 2016.[70]
    • Markers of the Jefferson Davis Highway, installed in Horton Plaza in 1926 and moved to the western sidewalk of the plaza following a 2016 renovation.[71] Following the Unite the Right rally in Virginia, the San Diego City Council removed the plaque on August 16, 2017.[72]
  • San Lorenzo:
    • San Lorenzo High School. Until 2017, the school nickname was the "Rebels" – a tribute to the Confederate soldier in the Civil War. Its mascot, The Rebel Guy, was retired in 2016. The school's original mascot, Colonel Reb, was a white man with a cane and goatee who was retired in 1997.[73]
  • Quartz Hill:
    • Quartz Hill High School. Until 1995, the school had a mascot called Johnny Reb, who would wave a Confederate Flag at football games. Johnny Reb had replaced another Confederate-themed mascot, Jubilation T. Cornpone, who waved the Stars and Bars flag at football games. "Slave Day" fundraisers were phased out in the 1980s.[74]

Colorado[edit]

District of Columbia[edit]

Florida[edit]

An August, 2017 meeting of the Florida League of Mayors was devoted to the topic of what to do with Civil War monuments.[77]

  • State symbols
    • Until 2016, the shield of the Confederacy was found in the Rotunda of the Florida Capitol, together with those of France, Spain, England, and the United States – all of them treated equally as "nations" that Florida was part of or governed by. The five flags "that have flown in Florida" were included on the official Senate seal, displayed prominently in the Senate chambers, on its stationery, and throughout the Capitol. On October 19, 2015, the Senate agreed to change the seal so as to remove the Confederate battle flag from it.[78] The new (2016) Senate seal has only the flags of the United States and Florida.[79]
  • Bradenton
    • On August 22, 2017, the Manatee County Commission voted 4–3 to move the Confederate monument in front of the county courthouse to storage.[80] This granite obelisk was dedicated on June 22, 1924 by the Judah P. Benjamin Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. It commemorates Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis, and the "Memory of Our Confederate Soldiers."[81] On August 24, while being moved (at 3 AM), the spire toppled and broke. The clean break is repairable, but the County recommends it not be repaired until a new home is found.[82][83]:32
  • Daytona Beach
    • In August 2017, the Daytona Beach city manager made the decision to remove three plaques from Riverfront Park that honored Confederate veterans.[84][85]
  • Gainesville
  • Hollywood: Street signs named for Confederate Generals were removed in April 2018.[89]
  • Jacksonville
  • Orlando
    • Confederate "Johnny Reb" monument, Lake Eola Park. Erected in 1911 on Magnolia Avenue; moved to Lake Eola Park in 1917. Removed from the park to a private location in 2017.[93][93]
  • St. Petersburg
  • Tallahassee
    • The Confederate Battle Flag was included on the Senate seal from 1972 to 2016, when it was removed. It was also displayed in its chambers and on the Senate letterhead. In the wake of the racially motivated Charleston shootings, the Senate voted in October 2015 to replace the confederate symbol with the Florida State Flag.[96] The new shield was in place in 2016.[97]
    • The Confederate Stainless Banner flag flew over the west entrance of the Florida State Capitol from 1978 until 2001, when Gov. Jeb Bush ordered it removed.[98]
  • Tampa
    • In 1997, county commissioners removed the Confederate flag from the Hillsborough County seal. In a compromise, they voted to hang a version of the flag in the county center. Commissioners voted in 2015 to remove that flag. In 2007 the county stopped honoring Confederate History Month.
    • In June 2017, the Hillsborough County School Board started a review of how to change the name of Robert E. Lee Elementary School in east Tampa.[99]
Memoria In Aeterna, Brandon, Florida
    • Memoria In Aeterna ("Eternal Memory"), Old Hillsborough County Courthouse, in 2017 Annex to the current Courthouse. "The monument is comprised of two Confederate soldiers: one facing north, in a fresh uniform, upright and heading to battle, and the other facing south, his clothes tattered as he heads home humbled by war.[100][99] Between them is a 32-foot-tall obelisk with the image of a Confederate flag chiseled into it."[101] It was called "one of the most divisive symbols in Hillsborough County".[102] It was first erected in 1911 at Franklin and Lafayette Streets, and moved to its former location, in front of the then-new county courthouse, in 1952.[99] After voting in July 2017 to move the statue to the small Brandon Family Cemetery in the suburb that bears its name (Brandon, Florida), the County Commission announced on August 16 that the statue would only be moved if private citizens raised $140,000, the cost of moving it, within 30 days. The funds were raised within 24 hours. The following day Save Southern Heritage, Veterans' Monuments of America, and United Daughters of the Confederacy filed a lawsuit attempting to prevent the statue's relocation.[103] On September 5, 2017, a Hillsborough administrative judge denied their request for an injunction. Removal of the monument, which took several days, began the same day.[102] It was cut into 26 pieces to enable its removal.[102] It was moved on September 5, 2017 to the Brandon Family Cemetery; the county paid half the $285,000 cost.[100][104]
  • West Palm Beach
    • Confederate monument, Woodlawn Cemetery (1941), located at the front gate, directly behind an American flag. "The only one south of St. Augustine, likely the only Confederate statue in Palm Beach and Broward counties, said historian Janet DeVries, who leads cemetery tours at Woodlawn." Vandalized several times. Removed and placed in storage by order of Mayor Jeri Muoio on August 22, 2017, since its owner, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, had not claimed it despite notification.[105][106] "Believed by local historians to be the last Confederate monument in Palm Beach County."[107][108]
    • Jefferson Davis Middle School. Renamed Palm Springs Middle School in 2005.[109]

Georgia[edit]

Kansas[edit]

  • Lyon County
    • Between 1855 and 1862, Lyon County was known as Breckinridge County, named for John C. Breckinridge, U.S. Vice President and Confederate general.[117]
  • Wichita
    • Confederate Flag Bicentennial Memorial (1962, removed 2015). The Confederate battle flag had been displayed at the John S. Stevens Pavilion at Veterans Memorial Plaza near downtown since 1976, when it was placed there in a historical flag display as part of the nation's bicentennial. The flag was removed July 2, 2015 by order of Mayor Jeff Longwell.[118][119]

Kentucky[edit]

Louisiana[edit]

Jefferson Davis Monument in New Orleans, Louisiana; left: the monument being unveiled February 22, 1911; right: after removal of statue and pedestal May 11, 2017.
  • New Orleans: The first Confederate monuments removed in 2017 were those of New Orleans, although it was in 2015 that the City Council ordered their removal. Court challenges were unsuccessful. The workers who moved the monuments were dressed in bullet-proof vests, helmets, and masks to conceal their identities because of concerns about their safety.[126][127] According to Mayor Landrieu, "The original firm we'd hired to remove the monuments backed out after receiving death threats and having one of his cars set ablaze."[128] "Opponents at one point found their way to one of our machines and poured sand in the gas tank. Other protesters flew drones at the contractors to thwart their work."[129] The city said it was weighing where to display the monuments so they could be "placed in their proper historical context from a dark period of American history."[130] On May 19, 2017, the Monumental Task Committee,[131] an organization that maintains monuments and plaques across the city, commented on the removal of the statues: "Mayor Landrieu and the City Council have stripped New Orleans of nationally recognized historic landmarks. With the removal of four of our century-plus aged landmarks, at 299 years old, New Orleans now heads into our Tricentennial more divided and less historic." Landrieu replied on the same day: "These statues are not just stone and metal. They are not just innocent remembrances of a benign history. These monuments purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, and the terror that it actually stood for."[132]
A seven-person Monument Relocation Committee was set up by Mayor LaToya Cantrell to advise on what to do with the removed monuments. The statue of Jefferson Davis, if their recommendation is implemented, will be moved to Beauvoir, his former estate in Biloxi, Mississippi that is now a presidential library and museum. The Committee recommended that the statues of Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard be placed in Greenwood Cemetery, near City Park Avenue and Interstate 10 (where three other Confederate generals are entombed). However, this conflicts with a policy of former mayor Mitch Landrieu, who had directed that they never again be on public display in Orleans Parish. The Battle of Liberty Place Monument will remain in storage, although some white supremacist groups or individuals would no doubt be glad to have it.[133]

Maine[edit]

Maryland[edit]

Massachusetts[edit]

  • Fort Warren, Georges Island, Boston Harbor:
    • Memorial to 13 Confederate prisoners who died in captivity. Dedicated in 1963; Removed October 2017.[145]

Mississippi[edit]

Missouri[edit]

Montana[edit]

Nevada[edit]

New Mexico[edit]

  • The three Jefferson Davis Highway markers in the state were removed in 2018.[157]

New York[edit]

North Carolina[edit]

A state law, the "Historic Artifact Management and Patriotism Act" (2015),[161] prevents local governments from removing or relocating monuments without state permission. In 2017 Governor Roy Cooper asked the North Carolina legislature to repeal the law, saying: "I don't pretend to know what it's like for a person of color to pass by one of these monuments and consider that those memorialized in stone and metal did not value my freedom or humanity. Unlike an African-American father, I'll never have to explain to my daughters why there exists an exalted monument for those who wished to keep her and her ancestors in chains."[162] "We cannot continue to glorify a war against the United States of America fought in the defense of slavery," he wrote. "These monuments should come down."[86] He also has asked the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to "determine the cost and logistics of removing Confederate monuments from state property."[163][164]

  • Chapel Hill
  • Charlotte
    • A 1977 monument, erected by the Confederate Memorial Association of Charlotte and located on the grounds of the Old City Hall, was vandalized and subsequently removed from location for cleaning in July 2015. Later that same month, the "Historic Artifact Management and Patriotism Act" became law while the monument was still located in a city-owned warehouse. With a technicality, the city council voted to move the monument to city-owned Elmwood Cemetery, next to Confederate graves and an existing granite obelisk honoring Confederate soldiers.[168][169]
  • Durham
  • Raleigh
  • Reidsville
    • From 1910 to 2011, the monument stood in Reidsville's downtown area. In 2011, a motorist hit the monument, shattering the granite soldier which stood atop it. Placing the monument back in the center of town sparked a debate between local officials, neighbors and friends—which resulted in it being placed at its current site—the Greenview Cemetery.[173]

Ohio[edit]

Oklahoma[edit]

  • Tulsa: Robert E. Lee Elementary School, renamed Lee Elementary School in May, 2018, then renamed Council Oak Elementary School in August, 2018.[181]

South Carolina[edit]

  • Columbia
    • The Confederate flag was raised over the South Carolina statehouse in 1962. In 2000 the legislature voted to remove it and replace it with a flag on a flagpole in front of the Capitol.[182] In 2015 the complete removal was approved by the required 2/3 majority of both houses of the Legislature.[51] The flag was given to the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum.
  • Rock Hill
    • In 2017, the Confederate flag and pictures of Jackson and Lee were removed from the York County courthouse.[183]

Tennessee[edit]

  • Crossville
    • South Cumberland Elementary School: A Confederate flag painted on a wall was painted over, and the Confederate flag and an image looking like a lynching were removed from a mural.[184]
  • Memphis
    • Three Confederate-themed city parks were "hurriedly renamed" prior to passage of the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act[185] of 2013. Confederate Park (1908) was renamed Memphis Park; Jefferson Davis Park (1907) was renamed Mississippi River Park; and Forrest Park (1899) was renamed Health Sciences Park.[186][187] The vote of the City Council was unanimous.[188] At the time the monuments were dedicated, African Americans could not use those parks.[189]
    • Jefferson Davis Monument located in Memphis Park(1964) 1904.
Removed statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, Health Sciences Park (formerly Forrest Park), Memphis
    • Nathan Bedford Forrest Monument commissioned 1901, dedicated 1905, located in Health Sciences Park. Memphis City Council officials were unanimous in seeking to have the statues removed, but were blocked by the Tennessee Historical Commission under the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act. After exploring legal remedies,[190][191] the city of Memphis decided to sell the two parks to a new non-profit, Memphis Greenspace, whose president is a county commissioner, for $1,000 each. Memphis Greenspace removed the statue the same day, December 20, 2017.[192][193][191][194] The Sons of Confederate Veterans says they will sue the city.[195] Their suit was unsuccessful.[196]
    • Statue of J. Harvey Mathes, Confederate Captain, removed December 20, 2017.[197]
Memorial Hall, formerly Confederate Memorial Hall, in 2006
  • Murfreesboro
    • Forrest Hall (ROTC building), Middle Tennessee State University: In 2006, the frieze depicting General Forrest on horseback that had adorned the side of this building was removed amid protests, but a major push to change its name failed. Also, the university's Blue Raiders' athletic mascot was changed to a pegasus from a cavalier, in order to avoid association with General Forrest.[198]:605
  • Nashville
    • Confederate Memorial Hall, Vanderbilt University, was renamed Memorial Hall on August 15, 2016. Since the building "was built on the back of a $50,000 donation from the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1933", the university returned to them its 2017 equivalent, $1.2 million.[199] Prior to this, Vanderbilt was involved in a lawsuit, dating at least back to 2005, with the United Daughters of the Confederacy. "Michael Schoenfeld, Vanderbilt's vice chancellor for public affairs, said he and other university officials had gotten death threats over his school's decision."[113]
  • Sewanee (Sewanee: The University of the South):
    • Confederate flags were removed from the Chapel in the mid-1990s "reportedly to improve acoustics".[200]
    • A portrait of Leonidas Polk was moved from Convocation Hall to Archives and Special Collections in 2015. However "two other portraits of Polk currently hang in different locations on campus. One can easily find Polk's image and influence all over Sewanee."[201]

Texas[edit]

  • Arlington:
    • Six Flags Over Texas theme park: In August 2017 it removed the Stars and Bars Confederate Flag after flying it for 56 years along with the flags of the other countries that Texas has been part of. In the 1990s the park renamed the Confederacy section the Old South section and removed all Confederate Battle Flags.[202]
  • Austin:
  • Dallas:
    • In 2016, the John B. Hood Middle School renamed itself, with the concurrence of the Dallas Independent School District Board of Trustees, the Piedmont Global Academy.[147]
    • Robert E. Lee statue (1936) located in Lee Park along Turtle Creek Boulevard. Dedicated in 1936 to celebrate the Texas Centennial Exposition. Removed September 14, 2017 after the city council voted 13–1 to remove it.[216][217][218] The city considered lending it to the Texas Civil War Museum in White Settlement, the only local institution willing to accept it, but declined because it would not be displayed in a historical context the Dallas City Commission found acceptable.[219]
    • Robert E. Lee Park: The park was temporarily renamed "Oak Lawn Park" until a permanent name can be approved.[220][221]
    • Lee, Gano (Richard Montgomery Gano), Stonewall, Beauregard, and Cabell (William Lewis Cabell, mayor of Dallas) streets are currently named for Confederate Generals. They will be renamed at a future date.[222]
  • Fort Worth:
  • Garland:
    • South Garland High School removed various Confederate symbols in 2015. A floor tile mosaic donated by the Class of 1968 and a granite sign in front of the school were replaced. Both had incorporated the Confederate flag, which was part of the school's original coat of arms. In addition, the district has dropped "Dixie" as the tune for the school fight song.[224] The school changed its Colonel mascot's uniform from Confederate gray to red and blue in 1991.[225]
  • Houston:
    • Dowling Street. Named for Confederate commander Richard W. Dowling. Renamed Emancipation Avenue in 2017.[226]
    • Lee High School (1962). Originally known as Robert E. Lee High School, district leaders dropped the "Robert E." from the school's title to distance the school from the Confederate general.[227] School officials changed the name to Margaret Long Wisdom High School in 2016.
    • Westbury High School changed the nickname of its athletic teams from the "Rebels" to the "Huskies."[228]
  • Lakeside, Tarrant County
    • The "smallest Confederate monument", two small Confederate flags, was removed from Confederate Park in August, 2017.[229]
  • San Antonio:
    • Confederate Soldiers' Monument, dedicated April 28, 1899, located in Travis Park next to The Alamo.[230] Removed September 1, 2017.[231][232][233]
    • Robert E. Lee High School renamed LEE (Legacy of Education Excellence) High School, reportedly to preserve the school's history and minimize the expense of renaming, in 2017.[147]

Vermont[edit]

  • Brattleboro:
  • South Burlington:
    • South Burlington High School Confederate themed Captain Rebel mascot (1961), use of the Confederate Battle Flag, and playing of Dixie almost immediately sparked controversy during the Civil Rights era and every decade since. The school board voted to retain the name in 2015 but to change it in 2017. "The Rebel Alliance", a community group opposed to changing the mascot has led two successful efforts to defeat the school budget in public votes as a protest.[235][236] The students choose the "Wolves" and rebranding is proceeding.[237]

Virginia[edit]

Lee sculpture covered in black tarp following the Unite the Right rally
  • Statewide
  • Bailey's Crossroads:
  • Charlottesville
    • Lee Park, the setting for an equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee, was renamed Emancipation Park on February 6, 2017.
    • On February 6, the Charlottesville City Council also voted to remove the equestrian statue of Lee. In April, the City Council voted to sell the statue. In May a six-month court injunction staying the removal was issued as a result of legal action by the Sons of Confederate Veterans and others. In June 2016 the pedestal had been spray painted with the words "Black Lives Matter",[240] and overnight between July 7 and 8, 2017, it was vandalized by being daubed in red paint.[241] On August 20, 2017, the City Council unanimously voted to shroud the statue, and that of Stonewall Jackson, in black. The Council "also decided to direct the city manager to take an administrative step that would make it easier to eventually remove the Jackson statue."[242] The statues were covered in black shrouds on August 23, 2017.[243] By order of a judge, the shrouds were removed in February, 2018.
    • On September 6, 2017, the city council voted to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson from Emancipation Park.[244]
    • Jackson Park, named for Stonewall Jackson, was renamed Justice Park.[245]
    • The University of Virginia Board of Visitors (trustees) voted unanimously to remove two plaques from the university's Rotunda that honored students and alumni who fought and died for the Confederacy in the Civil War. The University also agreed "to acknowledge a $1,000 gift in 1921 from the Ku Klux Klan and contribute the amount, adjusted for inflation, to a suitable cause."[246]
  • Doswell
    • Major amusement park Kings Dominion operated the popular "Rebel Yell" roller coaster from the park's 1975 opening until 2017. The ride's name referenced the "Rebel yell", a battle cry used by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. On February 2, 2018, the park announced that the attraction would be renamed to "Racer 75" beginning in the 2018 season, although Kings Dominion did not comment on the relationship between the name change and the previous name's Confederate roots in its press release.[247]
  • Fairfax County:
  • Falls Church:
  • Front Royal
  • Hampton: Robert E. Lee Elementary School, closed 2010.[251]
  • Lexington
    • In 2011, the City Council passed an ordinance to ban the flying of flags other than the United States flag, the Virginia Flag, and an as-yet-undesigned city flag on city light poles. Various flags of the Confederacy had previously been flown on city light poles to commemorate the Virginia holiday Lee–Jackson Day, which is observed on the Friday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.[252] About 300 Confederate flag supporters, including members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, rallied before the City Council meeting,[253] and after the vote the Sons of Confederate Veterans vowed to challenge the new local ordinance in court.[252] Court challenges have not been successful and the ordinance remains in effect. The city tried to prevent individuals from flying Confederate flags on their own property, but a 1993 federal injunction blocked effort.[253]
    • On the campus of Washington and Lee University, a large Confederate battle flag and a number of related flags were removed from the Lee Chapel in 2014.[254][255]
    • Close to Lee Chapel is the older Grace Episcopal Church, where Lee attended. In 1903 the church was renamed the R. E. Lee Memorial Church. In 2017 the church changed its name back to Grace Episcopal Church.
  • Lynchburg
  • Petersburg: Three schools were renamed effective July 1, 2018.[257] A $20,000 private donation covered the costs.[258]
    • A.P. Hill Elementary became Cool Spring Elementary
    • Robert E. Lee Elementary became Lakemont Elementary
    • J.E.B. Stuart Elementary became Pleasants Lane Elementary.
  • Richmond
    • In February 2000, the City Council voted to change the names of the J. E. B. Stuart and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson bridges, which cross the James River, to the names of Samuel Tucker and Curtis Holt, two local notables in the civil rights movement.[259]
    • J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School (1922) was renamed Barack Obama Elementary School in 2018.[260]
  • Roanoke, Virginia

Washington (state)[edit]

West Virginia[edit]

Wisconsin[edit]

  • Madison
    • Confederate Rest section of Forest Hill Cemetery. This section of the cemetery contains the remains of more than 100 Confederate soldiers who died as prisoners of war at nearby Camp Randall.
      • In 2015, a flag pole was removed from the section. The pole had been used to fly the Confederate flag for one week around Memorial Day.[278][279]
      • On August 17, 2017, a plaque dedicated to the buried Confederate soldiers was removed on the order of Madison mayor Paul Soglin. A larger stone monument listing the names of the deceased was also ordered to be removed, but the removal was postponed until logistics could be worked out.[280][281][278]

Canada[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Graham (2016) "Many of the treasured monuments that seem to offer a connection to the post-bellum South are actually much later, anachronistic constructions, and they tend to correlate closely with periods of fraught racial relations".[17]
  2. ^ Graham (2016) "A timeline of the genesis of the Confederate sites shows two notable spikes. One comes around the turn of the 20th century, just after Plessy v. Ferguson, and just as many Southern states were establishing repressive race laws. The second runs from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s—the peak of the civil-rights movement."[4][17]

References[edit]

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