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Removal of Confederate monuments and memorials

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The removal of Confederate monuments and memorials is an ongoing process in the United States since the 1960s. Many municipalities in the United States have removed monuments and memorials on public property dedicated to the Confederate States of America (CSA; the Confederacy), and some, such as Silent Sam in North Carolina, have been torn down by protestors. The momentum to remove Confederate memorials increased dramatically following high-profile incidents including the Charleston church shooting (2015), the Unite the Right rally (2017), and the murder of George Floyd (2020).[1][2][3] The removals have been driven by the belief that the monuments glorify white supremacy; memorialize an unrecognized, treasonous[4][5] government, the Confederacy, whose founding principle was the perpetuation and expansion of slavery; and that the presence of these Confederate memorials over a hundred years after the defeat of the Confederacy continues to disenfranchise and alienate African Americans.[6][7][8][9][10]

The vast majority of these Confederate monuments were built during the era of Jim Crow laws, from 1877 to 1964. Detractors claim that they were not built as memorials but as a means of intimidating African Americans and reaffirming white supremacy after the Civil War.[11][12][13] 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".[6] In a counter-reaction to the movement to remove Confederate monuments, some Southern states passed state laws restricting or prohibiting the removal or alteration of public monuments.[14]

As part of the protests that followed the killing of George Floyd in 2020, there was a new wave of removal of Confederate monuments. An Alabama law prohibiting the removal of historical monuments was deliberately broken by the mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, the city council of Anniston, Alabama,[15] and others. The mayor said that the penalty fine was preferable to the unrest that would follow if it were not removed. The Governor of North Carolina removed, on the grounds of public safety, three Confederate monuments at the North Carolina Capitol that the legislature had in effect made illegal to remove. The U.S. Army said it would rename Fort Bragg and its other military bases named for Confederate generals. The U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines prohibited the display of the Confederate flag, including as bumper stickers on private cars on base; a wave of corporate product re-branding has also ensued. During the George Floyd protests, the campaign to remove monuments extended beyond the United States; numerous statues and other public works of art related to the transatlantic slave trade and European colonialism around the world were either removed or destroyed.

Background

Chart of public symbols of the Confederacy and its leaders as surveyed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, by year of establishment.[note 1]
Chart of public symbols of the Confederacy and its leaders as surveyed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, by year of establishment.[note 1]
The Robert E. Lee monument in New Orleans being lowered, May 19, 2017

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.[note 2][note 3] These two periods also coincided with the 50th anniversary and the American Civil War Centennial.[16] 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.[16]

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".[18] 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".[19] 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."[20]

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."[6]

Academic commentary

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 stated 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."[21]

Michael J. McAfee, curator of history at the West Point Museum, said "There are no monuments that mention the name Benedict Arnold. What does this have to do with the Southern monuments honoring the political and military leaders of the Confederacy? They, like Arnold, were traitors. They turned their backs on their nation, their oaths, and the sacrifices of their ancestors in the War for Independence. ... They attempted to destroy their nation to defend chattel slavery and from a sense that as white men they were innately superior to all other races. They fought for white racial supremacy. That is why monuments glorifying them and their cause should be removed. Leave monuments marking their participation on the battlefields of the war, but tear down those that only commemorate the intolerance, violence, and hate that inspired their attempt to destroy the American nation."[22]

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.[23] Elijah Anderson, a professor of sociology at Yale University, said the statues "really impacts the psyche of black people."[24] Harold Holzer, the director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, agreed that the statues were designed to belittle African Americans.[25] 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."[13] In a 1993 book on the issue in Georgia, author Frank McKenney argued otherwise; "These monuments were communal efforts, public art, and social history", he wrote.[26] 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.[27] 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;"[28] 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.[13] According to Civil War historian Judith Giesberg, professor of history at Villanova University, "White supremacy is really what these statues represent."[29]

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.[30]

Cheryl Benard, president of the Alliance for the Restoration of Cultural Heritage,[31] argued against the removal of Confederate war monuments in an op-ed written for The National Interest: "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."[32]

Eric Foner, a historian of the Civil War and biographer of Lincoln, argued that more statues of African Americans like Nat Turner should be erected.[24] 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.[24]

Civil War historian James I. Robertson Jr. said that the monuments were not a "Jim Crow signal of defiance". He called the current climate to dismantle or destroy Confederate monuments as an "age of idiocy", motivated by "elements hell-bent on tearing apart unity that generations of Americans have painfully constructed".[33] However, Civil War historian David Blight asked: "Why, in the year [2016], should communal spaces in the South continue to be sullied by tributes to those who defended slavery? How can Americans ignore the pain that black citizens, especially, must feel when they walk by the [John C.] Calhoun monument, or any similar statues, on their way to work, school or Bible study?"[34]

Julian Hayter, a historian at the University of Richmond, supports a different approach for the statues: re-contextualization. He supports adding a "footnote of epic proportions" such as a prominent historical sign or marker that explains the context in which they were built to help people see old monuments in a new light. "I'm suggesting we use the scale and grandeur of those monuments against themselves. I think we lack imagination when we talk about memorials. It's all or nothin'.... As if there's nothin' in between that we could do to tell a more enriching story about American history.[35][36]

History

Planned removal of the Robert Edward Lee Sculpture in Charlottesville, Va. sparked protests and counter-protests, resulting in three deaths.[37]
Planned removal of the Robert Edward Lee Sculpture in Charlottesville, Va. sparked protests and counter-protests, resulting in three deaths.[37]

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.[38] 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.[39]

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.[40][41] 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.[42][43]

In the three years since the Charleston shooting, Texas has removed 31 memorials, more than any other state.[44] According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, at least 114 Confederate monuments have been removed from public spaces during the same period.[45]

According to an April 2020 study, Confederate monuments are more likely to be removed in localities that have a large black and Democratic population, a chapter of the NAACP, and where Southern state legislatures have the power to decree removal.[46]

Time period Number of removals[47]
1865–2009 2
2009–2014 3
2015 (after Charleston church shooting) 4
2016 4
2017 (year of the Unite the Right rally) 36
2018 4
2019 4
2020 (after murder of George Floyd) 94[48]

Proponents

Legal impediment

In Alabama (2017), Georgia (early 20th century),[53] Mississippi (2004), North Carolina (2015), South Carolina (2000), Tennessee (2013, updated 2016), and Virginia (1902, repealed 2020), state laws have been passed to impede, or in the cases of Alabama,[54] Georgia, and North Carolina[55] prohibit altogether, the removal or alteration of public Confederate monuments.[56] Attempts to repeal these laws have not been successful, except in Virginia. Alabama's law, the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act, was passed in May 2017, North Carolina's law, the Cultural History Artifact Management and Patriotism Act, in 2015.[57]

Tennessee law

Tennessee passed its Tennessee Heritage Protection Act in 2016; it requires a two-thirds majority of the Tennessee Historical Commission to rename, remove, or relocate any public statue, monument, or memorial.[58] In response to events in Memphis (see below), a 2018 amendment prohibits 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."[59]

According to The New York Times, the Tennessee act shows "an express intent to prevent municipalities in Tennessee from taking down Confederate memorials."[60] The same has been said about Florida's law.[61]

South Carolina law

The removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina capitol required a two-thirds vote of both houses of the legislature, as would the removal of any other Confederate monument in South Carolina.[62]

North Carolina law

A state law, the Cultural History Artifact Management and Patriotism Act of 2015,[63] prevents local governments from removing monuments on public property, and places limits on their relocation within the property.[64] 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."[65] "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."[66] He also has asked the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to "determine the cost and logistics of removing Confederate monuments from state property."[67][68]

After the University of North Carolina renamed Saunders Hall in 2014 (see below), its Board of Trustees prohibited for 16 years any more renamings.[69] In another legal impediment to removal, the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina prohibited for 16 years the renaming of any university memorials. This was triggered by the University's 2014 decision to rename Saunders Hall (see below).

In 2019, North Carolina's law prohibiting monument removal was challenged indirectly. The Confederate Soldiers Monument in Winston-Salem was removed as a public nuisance, and a similar monument in Pittsboro was removed after a court ruled that it had never become county property, so the statute did not apply.[70]

Virginia law

On March 8, 2020, the Virginia legislature "passed measures that would undo an existing state law that protects the monuments[71] and instead let local governments decide their fate."[72] On April 11, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam signed the bill into law,[73] which went into effect on July 1. Previously, the state law had prohibited local governments from taking the monuments down, moving them, or even adding placards explaining why they were erected.[74]

Alabama law

On January 14, 2019, a circuit judge ruled that the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act is an un-Constitutional infringement on the City of Birmingham's right to free speech, and cannot be enforced.[75][76] On November 27, 2019, the Alabama Supreme Court reversed that ruling by a vote of nine to zero. In their decision, the court stated that "a municipality has no individual, substantive constitutional rights and that the trial court erred by holding that the City has constitutional rights to free speech."[77][78]

Unsuccessful federal legislation

On July 22, 2020, in the midst of the George Floyd protests, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 305-113 to remove a bust of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney (as well as statues honoring figures who were part of the Confederacy during the Civil War) from the U.S. Capitol and replace it with a bust of Justice Thurgood Marshall. The bill called for removal of Taney's bust within 30 days after the law's passage. The bust had been mounted in the old robing room adjacent to the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the Capitol Building. The bill (H.R. 7573[79]) also created a "process to obtain a bust of Marshall ... and place it there within a minimum of two years."[80] After the bill reached the Republican-led Senate on July 30, 2020 (S.4382) it was referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration, but no further action on it was taken.[81]

Protesters

In North Carolina and Georgia, where removal is completely prohibited, protesters toppled three Confederate monuments:

Of these, the first and third were damaged to the point that they cannot be repaired. Silent Sam, which was not seriously damaged, is in storage as of June 2020, awaiting a political decision about what to do with it. The "Confederate Dead Monument" was then replaced through funds raised by the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy.[82]

In addition, the bust of Robert E. Lee in Fort Myers, Florida, was toppled by unknown parties during the night of March 11–12, 2019.

More details and citations are under each monument, below.

Threats of violence

Removal of Confederate monuments in Maryland and New Orleans took place in the middle of the night, with police protection and workers wearing bullet-proof vests, because of concerns about possible violence. In the case of New Orleans, a crane had to be brought in from an unidentified out-of-state company as no local company wanted the business; one local company had a vehicle set ablaze and sand poured in the gas tank of another. (See below.)

Jason Spencer, a white member of the Georgia legislature, told an African-American colleague that if she continued calling for removal of Confederate monuments that she wouldn't be "met with torches but something a lot more definitive", and that People who want the statues gone "will go missing in the Okefenokee.... Don't say I didn't warn you."[83][84]

Public opinion

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. According to Reuters, "responses to the poll were sharply split along racial and party lines, however, with whites and Republicans largely supportive of preservation. Democrats and minorities were more likely to support removal."[85][86] Another 2017 poll, by HuffPost/YouGov, found that 48% of respondents favored the "remain" option, 33% favored removal, and 18% were unsure.[87][88] An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll released in 2017 found that most Americans, including 44% of African Americans, believe that statues honoring leaders of the Confederacy should remain in place.[89]

Support for removal increased during the George Floyd protests, with 52% in favor of removal, and 44% opposed.[90][91]

Artistic treatment

Ben Hamburger, an artist based in North Carolina, has exhibited six paintings, as a group called Monuments.[92] They show monuments being taken down and hauled away: Silent Sam, the Confederate Soldiers Monument in Durham, North Carolina, the Confederate Women's Monument in Baltimore, the Jefferson Davis Monument in New Orleans, and two others.[93]

Vestigial pedestals

In the case of many monuments, after they are removed the pedestals or plinths remain. What to do with them has been the subject of some discussion. In the case of the toppled Silent Sam monument at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, two scholars proposed leaving the "empty pedestal — shorn all original images and inscriptions — [which] eliminates the offending tribute while still preserving a record of what these communities did and where they did it.... The most effective way to commemorate the rise and fall of white supremacist monument-building is to preserve unoccupied pedestals as the ruins that they are — broken tributes to a morally bankrupt cause."[94]

In Baltimore, one of the four empty plinths was used in 2017, for a statue of a pregnant black woman, naked from the waist up, holding a baby in a brightly-covered sling on her back, with a raised golden fist: Madre Luz (Mother Light). The statue was first placed in front of the monument before its removal, then raised to the pedestal. According to the artist Pablo Machioli, "his original idea was to construct a pregnant mother as a symbol of life. 'I feel like people would understand and respect that'". The statue has been vandalized several times.[95] According to a writer for Another Chicago Magazine discussing the removal of the Baltimore monuments, she is "defiant.... [H]er imposing presence combines maternal nurturing with power. Madre Luz is Gaia, The Triple Goddess, and The Mother’s Knot. She is the American Statue of Maternity. She is the African seed of the wawa tree. She is a black flame."[96] The informal artpiece was subsequently removed by the city.

At the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, the plinth of Silent Sam and its plaques were removed on January 14, 2019, at the direction of Chancellor Carol Folt (see below).

List of removals

National

  • Fort Bliss
    • After receiving complaints, Forrest Road was renamed Cassidy Road, in honor of the Lt. Gen. Richard T. Cassidy, former post commander.[97]
  • U.S. Marine Corps
    • In February 2020, Marine Gen. David H. Berger ordered "the removal of all Confederate-related paraphernalia from Marine Corps installations." This includes all Confederate flags, bumper stickers, and "similar items".[98]

Alabama

  • Alabama State Capitol, Montgomery: 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.[99]
  • Anniston
    • The monument to Confederate artillery officer John Pelham, erected in 1905, was removed by the city on September 27, 2020.
  • Birmingham
  • 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.[103][104]
  • Huntsville
    • The statue of an unnamed Confederate soldier which stood outside the Madison County Courthouse in downtown Huntsville since 1905 was removed on October 23, 2020.[105]
  • Mobile
  • Montgomery

Alaska

Arizona

  • Picacho Peak State Park: A wooden marker dedicated to Col. Sherod Hunter's Arizona volunteers was removed by Arizona State Parks & Trails in 2015. Deterioration of the wood was the supposed cause of the removal.[109]
  • Wesley Bolin Plaza, Arizona State Capitol, Phoenix: Regifted in a letter by the UDC dated June 30, 2020 to the State stating "These monuments were gifted to the State and are now in need of repair but due to the current political climate, we believe it unwise to repair them where they are located." Removed July 22, 2020.[110]
  • Jefferson Davis Highway Marker, U.S. 60 at Peralta Road, near Apache Junction: Regifted in a letter by the UDC dated June 30, 2020 to the State stating "These monuments were gifted to the State and are now in need of repair but due to the current political climate, we believe it unwise to repair them where they are located." Removed July 22, 2020.[110]
  • Picacho Peak State Park: A brass plaque honoring Confederate soldiers who fought there was vandalized and removed in June 2020. According to officials from Arizona State Parks and Trails and the Arizona Historical Society (AHS), it will not be replaced. Stated one AHS official, "Times change. We probably put our name on a few things we shouldn’t have."[111]

Arkansas

In 2017, the Arkansas Legislature voted to stop honoring Robert E. Lee’s birthday.[112]

In 2019, the Arkansas Legislature voted to replace Arkansas's two statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection. Uriah Milton Rose, an attorney and founder of the Rose Law Firm, advised against secession, but backed the Confederacy during the war; while not a soldier or elected officeholder, he served the Confederacy as chancellor of Pulaski County, later being appointed the Confederacy's state historian.[113] A statue of white supremacist progressive era-Governor James Paul Clarke was also removed.[114] They will be replaced with statues of Johnny Cash and journalist and state NAACP president Daisy L. Gatson Bates, who played a key role in the integration of Little Rock's Central High School in 1957.[115]

California

District of Columbia

The empty, vandalized pedestal of the Albert Pike Memorial in Washington, D.C. on July 2, 2020, after the statue was toppled by protesters.
The empty, vandalized pedestal of the Albert Pike Memorial in Washington, D.C. on July 2, 2020, after the statue was toppled by protesters.

Florida

An August 2017 meeting of the Florida League of Mayors was devoted to the topic of what to do with Civil War monuments.[139]

  • 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.[140] The new (2016) Senate seal has only the flags of the United States and Florida.[141]
  • 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.[142] 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."[143] 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.[144][145]: 32 No final decision has been made as of September 2018, but the Gamble Plantation Historic State Park has been suggested as a possible new home for it.[146]
  • Crestview
    • Florida's Last Confederate Veteran Memorial, City Park (1958). In 2015, ownership was transferred to trustees of Lundy's family and the memorial was moved to private property.[145][147] Soon after, research determined the memorialized man had not been a veteran but had falsified his age to get veteran benefits.[148] After the removal of the Confederate monument and flag, the park is now referred to as the "former Confederate Park."[148]
  • Daytona Beach
    • In August 2017, the Daytona Beach city manager made the decision to remove three plaques from Riverfront Park that honored Confederate veterans.[149][150][151]
  • Fort Myers
    • The bust of Robert E. Lee, on a pedestal in the median of Monroe Street downtown, was found face down on the ground on March 12, 2019; the bolts holding it in place had been removed. It did not appear to be damaged, and was removed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans.[152] The bust had been commissioned in 1966 from Italian sculptor Aldo Pero for $6,000 by the defunct Laetitia Ashmore Nutt Chapter of UDC, chapter 1447.[153][154] In 2018 there had been conflict over the future of the monument, both at a Ft. Myers City Council meeting[155] and at the monument itself.[156]
Ft. Myers is the county seat of Lee County, Florida.
  • Gainesville
  • Hollywood: Street signs named for Confederate Generals were removed in April 2018.[159][160]
  • Jacksonville
  • Lakeland
    • Confederate soldier statue in downtown Munn Park, created by the McNeel Marble Works.[145]: 34 "The United Daughters of the Confederacy paid $1,550 to erect the statue in Munn Park, the town square, on June 3, 1910. The city chipped in $200."[164] In May 2018, the Lakeland City Commission approved unanimously the removal of the statue to Veterans Park. However, they specified that private funds would have to cover the costs.[165] In six months, only $26,209 was raised, so commissioners voted in November "to use $225,000 in red light camera citation money to pay for the move".[166] A coalition of individuals and groups opposed to the move, including the Sons of Confederate Veterans, filed suit in federal court alleging that the money being used was public money, but the suit was dismissed in January 2019 "as a matter of law",[164] and the city proceeded, noting that it will be moved in the daytime.[167] The relocation started on March 21, 2019.[168]
  • 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 public cemetery in 2017.[169][170]
  • Palatka:
  • Quincy:
  • St. Augustine
  • 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.[178] The new shield was in place in 2016.[179]
    • 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.[180]
Memoria In Aeterna, now in Brandon Family Cemetery, Brandon, Florida
Memoria In Aeterna, now in Brandon Family Cemetery, Brandon, Florida
  • 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.[181] In September 2017, the school was seriously damaged by fire of accidental origin. Teachers and students were transferred, and the school with this name went out of existence.[182]
    • 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.[181][183] Between them is a 32-foot-tall obelisk with the image of a Confederate flag chiseled into it."[184] It was called "one of the most divisive symbols in Hillsborough County".[185] 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.[181] 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.[186] 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.[185] It was cut into 26 pieces to enable its removal.[185] It was moved on September 5, 2017, to the Brandon Family Cemetery; the county paid half the $285,000 cost.[183][187]
    • A 60 feet (18 m) x 30 feet (9.1 m) Confederate flag—when erected, the largest such flag ever made—at the privately-owned Confederate Memorial Park, placed so as to be visible at the intersection of I-4 and I-75, just east of Tampa (actually Seffner, Florida), was removed on June 1, 2020, by its owner, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, after threats to burn it were made on social media.[188]
  • 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.[189][190] "Believed by local historians to be the last Confederate monument in Palm Beach County."[191][192]
    • Jefferson Davis Middle School. Renamed Palm Springs Middle School in 2005.[193]

Georgia

Indiana

Kansas

  • 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.[202][203]

Kentucky

  • Bowling Green: a "historic" sign indicating that Bowling Green was the Confederate capital of Kentucky was removed in August 2020.[204]
  • Florence: Boone County High School. The mascot for the school was Mr. Rebel, a Confederate general who stands tall in a light blue uniform, feathered cap, and English mustache. It was removed in 2017.[205]
  • Frankfort: Statue of Jefferson Davis, Kentucky Capitol Rotunda, 1936. (Jefferson Davis was born in Kentucky.) In 2015, the all-white[206] state Historic Properties Advisory Commission voted against removing the statue.[207] In 2017 several prominent Republicans called for its removal.[208] It was removed on June 13, 2020.[209]

Louisiana

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.
  • Baton Rouge: Robert E. Lee High School, renamed Lee High School in 2016. In 2018 Lee Magnet High School. Sports teams, formerly Rebels, are now Patriots.[218]
  • 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.[219][220] 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."[221] "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."[222] 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."[223] On May 19, 2017, the Monumental Task Committee,[224] 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."[225]
    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.[226] 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.[227]

Maine

Maryland

  • State of Maryland
    • State Song: In 2021 Maryland officially repealed its state song, Maryland, My Maryland, due to controversial lyrics that call on Maryland to join the Confederacy and label the Union as tyrannical. In March 2021, both houses of the Maryland General Assembly voted to repeal the state song and governor Larry Hogan signed it into law on May 18, 2021.[235] Since then, Maryland has had no official state song. Previously in 2017, the University of Maryland marching band announced it would no longer play the song before football games and in 2020, Pimlico Race Course scrapped its tradition of playing the song before the race.[236]

Massachusetts

Michigan

  • Lowell: The 1935 Robert E. Lee Show Boat:[259] A campaign by Former Representative Dave Hildenbrand to request money from Rick Snyder's administration resulted in a taxpayer funded grant[260] to rebuild the confederate-named boat.[261] What followed was a contentious[262] and successful petition to change the boat's name.[263] It was demolished February 28, 2019.[264]

Mississippi

  • Statewide
    • On June 30, 2020 the Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill which removes the second flag of Mississippi (1894) within 15 days from all public buildings and establish a new flag for the state, that will be voted by referendum on November.[265][266] Voters approved a new state flag with 68% of the vote on November 3, 2020.[267]
    • "Several city and county governments and all eight of Mississippi's public universities have stopped flying the state flag in recent years amid critics' concerns that it does not properly represent a state where 38 percent of residents are African-American."[268][269]
  • Jackson
    • Davis Magnet IB School. Renamed "Barack Obama Magnet IB School" in 2017.[270][271]
    • (Col. John Logan) Power Academic and Performing Arts Complex is renamed for "Ida B. Wells and Robert E. Lee Elementary School is renamed for "Drs. Aaron and Ollye Shirley" in December 2020.[272]
  • Oxford
    • Confederate Drive renamed Chapel Lane[273]
    • In 2016, the University of Mississippi marching band, called The Pride of the South, stopped playing Dixie. The school got rid of its Colonel Reb mascot in 2003.[274]

Missouri

  • Columbia: In 2018, the Columbia Board of Education voted unanimously to change the name of Robert E. Lee Elementary School to Locust Street Expressive Arts Elementary School.[275]
  • Kansas City, Missouri: United Daughters of the Confederacy Monument on Ward Parkway. The memorial to Confederate women, a 1934 gift by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, was defaced by graffiti on August 18, 2017 and boxed up two days later in preparation for its removal. The monument was removed on August 25, 2017.[276][277]
  • St. Louis

Montana

Confederate Memorial Fountain in Helena, Montana before removal.
Confederate Memorial Fountain in Helena, Montana before removal.

Nevada

New Mexico

  • The three Jefferson Davis Highway markers in the state were removed in 2018.[285]

New York

North Carolina

  • Statewide: The North Carolina Department of Transportation stopped authorizing the use of specialized license plates of the North Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans that depict a Confederate battle flag in January 2021. The organization will be able to display other, non-offensive specialty plates.[292]
  • Asheville:
    • In a joint agreement between the city of Asheville and Buncombe County to remove two Confederate monuments that are located in or near Pack Square Park, crews began by the removal of the Robert E. Lee Dixie Highway, Colonel John Connally Marker (1926) on July 10, 2020, leaving only the base for future use.[293] On July 14, crews removed the Monument to 60th Regt. NC Volunteers (1905), located in front of the Buncombe County courthouse. Both monuments were moved to a County-own storage facility, where they will stay till a future decision is made.[294][295]
    • The Zebulon Vance Monument (1898), a 75-foot (23 m) obelisk located at the center of Pack Square Park, was completely covered with a shroud on July 10, 2020, at a cost of $18,500 and a monthly scaffolding rental cost of $2,400. A task force will decide the fate of it by either re-purposing or removing it.[293]
  • Chapel Hill:
    • A 1923 building at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill was named for William L. Saunders, Colonel in the Confederate army and head of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina. In 2014, the building was renamed Carolina Hall.[296]
    • Silent Sam, a statue erected in 1913 at the entrance to the University of North Carolina (today the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) as a memorial to its Confederate alumni, was pulled down, after years of protests, on August 20, 2018.[297] As of November 20, 2019, the University has not decided whether or where the statue will be restored.[298][299] In her January 19, 2019 letter of resignation as Chancellor, Carol Folt ordered the removal of the plinth and plaques as a threat to public safety, as they attracted pro-Confederate demonstrators unconnected with the University.[300] A proposal to build a special museum on the campus for the statue was rejected as too expensive and wasteful of resources. A scandal erupted in late 2019 after the press reported a secret agreement to transfer the monument to the Sons of Convederate Veterans, with funding. This deal collapsed once it was exposed. As of August 2020 the statue remains in an undisclosed University of North Carolina warehouse, and its fate remains undecided.[citation needed]
    • The Orange County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on October 16, 2018, to remove the Jefferson Davis Highway designation from the portion of US 15 that runs through the county. A marker stands at the intersection of East Franklin Street (formerly the route of US 15) and Henderson Street, in downtown Chapel Hill, adjacent to the University of North Carolina. The bronze plaque and stone pedestal were not removed immediately because it was not clear who their owner was.[301]
  • Charlotte:
    • In 2015, the Mecklenburg County Confederate Soldiers Monument (1977) was vandalized following the events of the Charleston church shooting on June 17. In July, the monument was removed from its location at the northwest corner of the Old City Hall for cleaning. 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, city manager Ron Carlee informed the City Council that he was relocating the monument to the Confederate section of city-owned Elmwood Cemetery. By end of year, it was relocated, next to other Confederate monuments and graves.[302][303][304]
    • The Confederate Reunion Marker (1924), located on a hill next to Grady Cole Center and American Legion Memorial Stadium, was removed on June 21, 2020 after the Mecklenburg County Commission became aware of online threats to damage or deface it. No decision if the removal would be temporary or permanent.[305]
  • Clinton: On July 12, 2020, the statue that makes part of the Confederate Soldiers Monument (1916), located on the south side of the Sampson County Courthouse, was removed after it was found bent and teetering on its pedestal that morning. The base currently remains on the Courthouse grounds.[306]
  • Fayetteville: On June 27, 2020, the 1902 Confederate Monument was removed from its location between the intersection of East and West Dobbin Avenue, Morganton Street, and Fort Bragg Road, in the Haymount neighborhood. The decision of its removal was done by its owner, the J.E.B. Stuart Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), in an effort so the monument would not be vandalized.[320] It is not known if it will be returned, relocated or stay in storage indefinitely. This was its third location, originally located at the intersection of Grove, Green, Rowan, and Ramsey Streets; it moved to the northeast corner of the square in 1951 due to road realignments. In 2002, the statue was then moved to its last location, by the UDC, believing the original site lost its charm becoming to commercialized.[321]
  • Gastonia: On June 23, 2020, the Gaston County Commissioners approved creating a council of understanding to give a recommendation to the commissioners about the future of the Gaston County Confederate Soldiers Monument (1912), located at the Gaston County Courthouse along Marietta Street. The commissioners voted on July 13 to relocate the statue and voted on August 3 to gift the monument to the Sons of Confederate Veterans Charles Q. Petty Camp, allowing them to relocate it onto private property, where it can only be used as a war memorial and educational tool.[322]
  • Greensboro: On July 3, 2020, the Confederate Soldiers Monument (1888) was discovered toppled in Green Hills Cemetery. The monument, which marks the grave area of three hundred unknown Confederate soldiers, was moved into storage.[323]
  • Greenville: The Pitt County Confederate Soldiers Monument (1914) sits on the Pitt County Courthouse grounds in Greenville.[324] On June 15, 2020, the Pitt County Board of Commissioners voted to remove the monument to a temporary location immediately, and work toward a permanent relocation.[325] It was removed from its location on June 23.[326]
  • Henderson: On July 3, 2020, the Vance County Confederate Monument (1910), located in front of the old Vance County Courthouse, was removed after Vance County Commissioners approved it by vote a few days prior. The monument is currently in storage until its disposition could be decided.[327] Upon its removal, crews discovered a time capsule that was buried beneath the monument, with artifacts that date back to 1910.[328]
  • Hillsborough: The building that currently houses the Orange County Historical Museum, at 201 N. Churton St., was built in 1934 and housed the (whites only) public library. The UDC donated $7,000 towards its construction, and it was named the Confederate Memorial Library. In 1983, after the library (now the Orange County Public Library) moved into a larger facility, the Museum moved in. The word "Library" was removed from the lettering over the front door, but "Confederate Memorial" remained. In 2015, the Hillsborough Town Board voted to remove the words.[329]
Old Chatham County Courthouse, Pittsboro, North Carolina (1908)
Old Chatham County Courthouse, Pittsboro, North Carolina (1908)
  • Lexington: In October 2020, the United Daughters of the Confederacy requested that a Confederate monument owned by the organization which stood at the city square in Lexington since 1902 be removed. Despite objections from Davidson County Commissioners, the Confederate monument which stood at the city square in Lexington since 1902 was removed after the Davidson County Superior Court allowed for the city and the Daughters of the Confederacy to have it removed from this location. The statue would be removed from the city square late at night on October 15–16, 2020.[330]
  • Louisburg: The Louisburg Town Council voted, in emergency session on June 22, 2020, on a compromise to remove the Confederate Monument (1914) from its location on North Main Street and relocate it to a municipal cemetery and placed among the graves of the Confederate soldiers it memorializes.[331] It was removed from its location on June 30.[332]
  • Oxford: On June 24, 2020, the 34-foot (10 m) Granville County Confederate Monument (1909) was removed from its location in front of the Richard Thornton Library, next to the Granville County Revolutionary War Monument (1926). The Granville Board of Commissioners made the decision as they believed there was a credible threat that it would be forcably removed and possible violent protest. The monument would be placed in storage until a new location was determined. This was the second location of the monument; it was first located in front of the Granville County Courthouse till 1971, when it was moved to the library as a compromise from the Oxford Race Riot.[333]
  • Pittsboro: Confederate Soldiers Monument (1907), Old Chatham County Courthouse; erected by Winnie Davis Chapter, UDC.[334] In 2019, there were "months" of discussion about what to do with it, including "multiple late-night Chatham County Board of Commissioners meetings". There were citizens' groups calling for its removal ("Chatham for All") and for leaving it alone. As it is privately owned (by the UDC), the statute protecting public Civil War monuments does not apply, said the County. In July 2019, the local UDC chapter and the county "signed a memorandum of understanding, agreeing to 'meet, cooperate, and work together in good faith to develop a mutually agreeable framework for "reimagining" the monument.'" In an August 12 statement, the UDC said the statue was given by the UDC to the county, which now owns it, "notwithstanding the statement on the south side of the statue carved in granite", the state statute does apply, and "is inappropriate that we re-imagine the statue in any way".[335][336] After a court ruled that the statue belonged to the UDC and not the county, it was removed on November 20, 2019.[337]
  • Raleigh:
    • A Confederate battle flag hanging in the Old North Carolina State Capitol was removed in 2013.[338]
    • On June 19, 2020, protesters pulled down two of the three bronze soldiers on the 75-foot (23 m) Confederate monument at the state Capitol, with one of the statues hung by its neck from the streetlight.[339] The following day, Governor Cooper gave the orders that all three Confederate monuments, located on the Capitol grounds, to be removed for public safety. Two of the three monuments, the Women of the Confederacy (1914) and a statue of Henry Lawson Wyatt (1912), were removed that day and moved into storage.[340][341] The third, what remains of the monument to fallen Confederate soldiers (1895) was removed from June 21–23. Governor Cooper laid blame to the 2015 law as creating legal roadblocks to removal that eventually led to the dangerous incidents that happened.[342][343] The two cannons that flanked 75-foot Confederate monument were relocated to Fort Fisher on June 28.[344]
  • 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.[345]
  • Rocky Mount: On June 2, 2020, the City Council of Rocky Mount voted to remove the Nash County Confederate Monument (1917). The land, which the monument was located on, will be vacated by the city, reverting ownership to Rocky Mount Mills.[346]
  • Salisbury: On June 16, 2020, the Salisbury City Council voted to remove the Fame Confederate Monument (1909), located on at the intersection of West Innes and Church Streets, and relocate it to the Old Lutheran Cemetery, where 175 tombstones for Confederate soldiers were installed in 1996. On June 22, an agreement was signed with the Robert F. Hoke Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy to which they will assist on its removal, storage and relocation.[347] The statue was later removed from July 6–7, 2020.[348]
  • Wadesboro: On July 7, 2020, the Anson County Board of Commissioners voted to remove the Anson County Confederate Soldiers Monument (1906) in front of the Wadesboro courthouse. The following day the monument was removed and placed in storage, where it will remain until it can be moved onto private property at a later date.[349]
  • Warrenton: On June 24, 2020 the Warren County Confederate Monument (1913), located in front of the Warren County Courthouse, was removed from its location. The County Commission justified their decision after receiving online several threats to topple the monument; it is currently located in storage.[350]
  • Wilmington: In the early morning of June 25, 2020, in what has been described as a surprise move, the City of Wilmington removed the Confederate Memorial (1924) and the George Davis Monument (1911). The city's twitter page posted at 5:28am "In accordance with NC law, the city has temporarily removed two monuments from the downtown area. This was done in order to protect the public safety and to preserve important historical artifacts."[351] It is not known where the monuments are being stored or what the future plans for them will be.[352][353]
  • Winston-Salem: The Confederate Soldiers Monument (1905),[354] formerly in front of the former Forsyth County Courthouse, now private apartments, was removed on March 12, 2019 by the city, due to safety concerns and the property owner's unwillingness to maintain it. Mayor Allen Joines said that the statue would be moved to Salem Cemetery after being temporarily in storage.[355] It was vandalized with paint in August 2017 and again late in 2018 with the words "Cowards & Traitors" written with black marker.[356] The UDC, its owner, declined to move it to the Salem Cemetery after the city proposed it.[357] On December 31, 2018, the city attorney sent a letter to the UDC saying that the monument is a threat to public safety and calling for its removal by January 31. "And if they don't, we're prepared to file legal action to achieve that removal", said Mayor Joines.[358] The owner of the property, Clachan Properties, also asked the UDC to remove it.[359] The local chapter of the UDC filed a lawsuit against the city and county May 4, 2020 claiming the city did not own the statue and did not have the right to remove it.[360] On December 31, 2020, the state division of the UDC announced it was appealing to the North Carolina Supreme Court.[361]

Ohio

Oklahoma

  • Atoka: The Confederate Memorial Museum and Cemetery opened in 1986.[367] In 2016 its name was changed to Atoka Museum and Confederate Cemetery.[368]
  • Tulsa: Robert E. Lee Elementary School, renamed Lee Elementary School in May 2018, then renamed Council Oak Elementary School in August 2018.[369]

South Carolina

  • Columbia: The Confederate battle flag was raised over the South Carolina statehouse in 1962 as a protest to desegregation. In 2000 the legislature voted to remove it and replace it with a flag on a flagpole in front of the Capitol as a monument.[370] In 2015 the complete removal was approved by the required 2/3 majority of both houses of the Legislature.[62] 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.[371]

Tennessee

The 2016 Tennessee Heritage Protection Act puts "the brakes on cities' and counties' ability to remove monuments or change names of streets and parks."[372]

  • Crossville
    • South Cumberland Elementary School: Murals painted in 2003, one of a large Confederate battle flag and another showing the team's mascot, the Rebel, triumphantly holding a Confederate battle flag while a boy in a blue outfit is being lynched on a tree, were altered/removed in 2018 after it was discovered by the anti-hate organization located in Shelbyville.[373]
  • Franklin
    • The Forrest Crossing Golf Course, owned by the American Golf Corporation, changed its name to the Crossing Golf Course on September 22, 2017.[374] It had been named after Confederate General and Klansman Nathan Bedford Forrest.[374]
Removed statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, Health Sciences Park (formerly Forrest Park), Memphis
Removed statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, Health Sciences Park (formerly Forrest Park), Memphis
  • Memphis
    • Three Confederate-themed city parks were "hurriedly renamed" prior to passage of the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act[375] 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.[376][377] The vote of the City Council was unanimous.[378] At the time the monuments were dedicated, African Americans could not use those parks.[379]
    • Jefferson Davis Monument located in Memphis Park, 1904/1964. The city is suing the state to get it removed.[380][381][382] It was removed under police guard December 20, 2017.[217]
    • Nathan Bedford Forrest Monument commissioned 1901, dedicated 1905, was installed thanks in part to Judge Thomas J. Latham's wife.[383] It was located in the former Nathan Bedford Forrest Park, renamed Health Sciences Park in 2015. 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,[381] the city of Memphis decided to sell the two parks to a new non-profit, Memphis Greenspace, whose president was a county commissioner, for $1,000 each. Memphis Greenspace removed the statue, under police guard, the same day, December 20, 2017.[217][380][381][384] The Sons of Confederate Veterans sued the city,[385] but their suit was unsuccessful.[386] In June 2021, Forrest's and his wife's remains began to be removed from Health Sciences Park to be reinterred on private land.[387]
    • Statue of J. Harvey Mathes, Confederate Captain, removed December 20, 2017.[388]
  • 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.[389]: 605
Confederate Memorial Hall, now known as Memorial Hall, Vanderbilt University.
Confederate Memorial Hall, now known as Memorial Hall, Vanderbilt University.
  • 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.[390] 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."[391]
    • On June 4, 2020, Montgomery Bell Academy announced plans to remove the statue of Sam Davis (1999), which was completed a few days later.[392][393]
  • Sewanee (Sewanee: The University of the South):
    • Confederate flags were removed from the Chapel in the mid-1990s "reportedly to improve acoustics".[394]
    • 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."[395]
    • Kirby-Smith Monument (1940). Smith was, after the war, a Sewanee professor of botany and mathematics. Plinth defaced with "Elevate People of Color" and "Elevate Women" in 2018. Removed to Graveyard in 2018, at request of Smith's descendants.[396]

Texas

Empty slab after the Confederate War Memorial monument was removed in 2020
Empty slab after the Confederate War Memorial monument was removed in 2020

Utah

Vermont

  • 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.[448][449] The students choose the "Wolves" and rebranding is proceeding.[450]

Virginia

  • Statewide
  • Alexandria
    • In 2017, a portrait of Robert E. Lee (born in Alexandria) that hung in the City Council chambers was moved to the Lyceum, a local history museum.[454]
    • In 2017, the Vestry of Christ Church (Alexandria) voted unanimously to remove from the sanctuary plaques honoring Washington and Lee, placed there just after Lee's death in 1870, saying they "make some in our presence feel unsafe or unwelcome."[455]
    • In 2017, "[a] hotel on King Street removed a plaque that had been bolted to the wall of the building for decades and gave an incomplete account of the first war-related deaths after the Union invaded Alexandria on May 24, 1861. The marker, posted in 1929 by the Sons and Daughters of Confederate Veterans, memorialized the first Southerner killed by the Union, belying the fact that he had first shot and killed a Northern colonel on the property."[454]
    • In 2020, the Appomattox statue (1899) was removed. Dedicated to the Confederate dead and placed in the middle of the intersection of Washington and Prince Streets, in 2016 the mayor and city council voted unanimously for it to be moved to a museum.[456] The statue was removed and put into storage in June 2020 by its owners, the United Daughters of the Confederacy.[457]
  • Arlington County
    • Jefferson Davis Highway (U.S. 1) was renamed Richmond Highway in 2019.[458]
    • Arlington County announced in December 2020 that Robert E. Lee's former home, Arlington House, was being removed from its icon and seal, "primarily because it was built by enslaved people and later owned by Lee, who led the Confederate Army during the Civil War."[459]
  • Bailey's Crossroads
Lee sculpture in Charlottesville, Virginia, covered in black tarp following the Unite the Right rally
Lee sculpture in Charlottesville, Virginia, covered in black tarp following the Unite the Right rally
  • Bowling Green
    • Confederate Monument (1906). On August 25, 2020, the Caroline County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to remove the monument.[461]
  • Charlottesville
    • Lee Park, the setting for an equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee, was renamed Emancipation Park on February 6, 2017. In July 2018 it was renamed again, to Market Street Park.
    • On February 6, 2017, 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.[462][463] The prospect of removal, as well as the park renaming, brought numerous white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other alt-right figures to the Unite the Right rally of August 2017, in which there were three fatalities. In June 2016 the pedestal had been spray painted with the words "Black Lives Matter",[464] and overnight between July 7 and 8, 2017, it was vandalized by being daubed in red paint.[465] 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."[466] The statues were covered in black shrouds on August 23, 2017.[467] By order of a judge, the shrouds were removed in February 2018. After enabling legislation was signed by Governor Ralph Northam in April 2020,[468] and following a 2021 Virginia Supreme Court ruling against opponents of removal,[469] the Lee statue was removed on July 11, 2021.[470]
    • On September 6, 2017, the city council voted to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson from Emancipation Park.[471] The statue was removed on July 11, 2021.[472]
    • Jackson Park, named for Stonewall Jackson, was renamed Justice Park.[473] In July 2018, it was renamed a second time, to Court Square Park.
      Albemarle County Courthouse and Confederate monument, 2010
      Albemarle County Courthouse and Confederate monument, 2010
    • 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."[474]
    • On September 12, 2020, At Ready, a statue of a Confederate soldier in front of the Albemarle County courthouse in Charlottesville, where it had stood since 1909, was taken down after a unanimous vote of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. A cannon and pyramid of cannonballs were also removed.[475]
  • 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.[476]
  • Fairfax County
  • Front Royal
  • Hampton
    • Robert E. Lee Elementary School, closed 2010.[480]
Old Isle of Wight County Courthouse, with former Confederate memorial statue.
Old Isle of Wight County Courthouse, with former Confederate memorial statue.
  • Isle of Wight
    • A generic "Johnny Reb" statue and its base, referring to "Confederate Dead", were removed from in front of the former Isle of Wight County Courthouse on May 8, 2021.[481][482]
  • 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 was formerly observed on the Friday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.[483] About 300 Confederate flag supporters, including members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, rallied before the City Council meeting,[484] and after the vote the Sons of Confederate Veterans vowed to challenge the new local ordinance in court.[483] 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.[484]
    • 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.[485][486]
    • 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.[487][488]
    • On September 3, 2020, the Lexington City Council voted to rename Stonewall Jackson Cemetery to Oak Grove Cemetery. Jackson is buried in the cemetery.[489]
    • Virginia Military Institute (VMI) removed a statue of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson, a former VMI professor, on December 7, 2020. The statue is to be relocated to a Civil War museum located on a battlefield where a number of VMI cadets and alumni were killed or wounded.[490]
  • Lynchburg
  • Manassas
  • Norfolk
    • In 2020, the city removed the statue atop the Norfolk Confederate Monument (1907) and put it into storage, pending the dismantling of the rest of the monument.[493]
    • In June 2020 the City of Norfolk removed the long standing historical marker commemorating Father Abram Ryan "The Poet Priest of the Confederacy" which had stood on the corner of Tidewater and Lafayette Boulevard for 85 years.
  • Petersburg: Three schools were renamed effective July 1, 2018.[494] A $20,000 private donation covered the costs.[495][496]
    • A.P. Hill Elementary became Cool Spring Elementary
    • Robert E. Lee Elementary became Lakemont Elementary
    • J.E.B. Stuart Elementary became Pleasants Lane Elementary.
  • Portsmouth
    • The Confederate Monument, located in the town square. Local politicians had been contemplating the fate of the monument since 2015, in 2017 the town's mayor announced that it would be relocated to a cemetery, and in 2018 courts were involved to determine who owned it. In June 2020, protesters beheaded several of the statues and tore one down, injuring a man in the process. The city covered up the monument as they tried to figure out if, and when, they could relocate the remainder.[497][498][499]
The removed statues on Monument Avenue, Richmond, clockwise from top left: Stonewall Jackson, Matthew Fontaine Maury, J. E. B. Stuart and Jefferson Davis.
Defaced Lee Monument, Richmond, before removal in 2021
Defaced Lee Monument, Richmond, before removal in 2021

Washington (state)

  • Bellingham:
    • Pickett Bridge, commemorating an earlier wooden bridge erected by US Army Capt. Pickett over Whatcom Creek. Sign erected in 1920, was removed August 18, 2017, along with signs leading to Pickett House.[513] Signs leading to Pickett House were put back up September 2017.[514]
Jefferson Davis Highway marker from Blaine
Jefferson Davis Highway marker from Blaine

West Virginia

  • Charles Town: It was in Charles Town, in the Jefferson County Courthouse, that abolitionist John Brown was tried; he was hanged nearby.[531] In 1986, the UDC, who oppose memorials to John Brown, erected at the entrance to the Jefferson County Courthouse a bronze plaque "in honor and memory of the Confederate soldiers of Jefferson County, who served in the War Between the States". The local newspaper, Spirit of Jefferson, and a group of local African Americans called for its removal.[532] On September 7, 2017, the Jefferson County Commission voted 5–0 to let the plaque be.[533] The group Women's March West Virginia attended each County Commission meeting holding signs that say "Remove the plaque".[534] After the 2018 elections, the composition of the County Commission changed; the plaque was the main issue in the election. On December 6, 2018, the Commission voted 3–2 to remove the plaque, and it was removed December 7,[535] and returned to the UDC.[536]

Wisconsin

  • 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.[537][538]
      • In August 2017, Madison mayor Paul Soglin ordered the removal of a plaque and a larger stone monument, erected in 1906 with UDC funding.[539] The plaque, which referred to the interred Confederates as "valiant Confederate soldiers" and "unsung heroes", was removed on August 17, 2017.[537][540][541][542][543] Removal of the stone monument, which contains the names of the soldiers buried there, did not take place immediately because of legal challenges and logistical concerns. On October 2, 2018, the Madison City Council voted 16–2 for its removal, overruling a Landmark Commission's recommendation that it stay.[539]
      • In January 2019, a stone cenotaph etched with the names of Confederate 140 prisoners of war was removed from the cemetery by the Madison Parks Department and transferred to storage at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum.[544]

Brazil

Canada

Worldwide

As part of the worldwide George Floyd protests, members of the Black Lives Matter movement have also removed or defaced statues of other historical figures that were responsible or alleged of causing suffering or harm against Black people. In Bristol, England, protesters toppled a statue of slave trader Edward Colston, who played a prominent role in the Bristol slave trade, while other protesters in Ghent vandalized a statue of King Leopold II of Belgium, the ruler of the Congo Free State during atrocities that took place there.[548]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ This chart is based on data from an SPLC survey which identified "1,503 publicly sponsored symbols honoring Confederate leaders, soldiers or the Confederate States of America in general." The survey excluded "nearly 2,600 markers, battlefields, museums, cemeteries and other places or symbols that are largely historical in nature."[16]
  2. ^ 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]
  3. ^ 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."[6][17]

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Further reading

Videos

External links