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.
The vast majority of these Confederate monuments were built during the era of Jim Crow laws (1877–1964). Detractors claim that they were not built as memorials but as a means of intimidating African Americans and reaffirming white supremacy. 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".
In a counter-reaction to the movement to remove Confederate monuments, some Southern states have passed state laws restricting or prohibiting altogether the removal or alteration of public monuments.
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. 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.
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."
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."
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."
Historian Robert K. Krick stated that "We live in an age riven by shrill and intemperate voices, from all perspectives and on most topics....It is impossible to imagine a United States in the current atmosphere that does not include zealots eager to obliterate any culture not precisely their own, destroying monuments in the fashion of Soviets after a purge, and antiquities in the manner of ISIS. The trend is redolent of the misery that inundated the planet during the aptly named Dark Ages, arising from savages who believed, as a matter of religion in that instance, that anyone with opinions different than their own was not just wrong, but craven and evil, and must be brutalized into conformity. On the other hand, a generous proportion of the country now, and always, eschews extremism, and embraces tolerance of others’ cultures and inheritances and beliefs. Such folk will be society’s salvation."
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.Elijah Anderson, a professor of sociology at Yale University, said the statues "really impacts the psyche of black people."Harold Holzer, the director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, agreed that the statues were designed to belittle African Americans.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." 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. 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. 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;" 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. According to Civil War historian Judith Giesberg, professor of history at Villanova University, "White supremacy is really what these statues represent."
Katrina Dunn Johnson, Curator at South Carolina's Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum, states that "some historians forget that they are studying real people with real emotions. The wartime death of a son, brother or husband provoked the same emotional reactions as a death would today--sorrow, anger, questioning and the desire for closure. These Americans were coping with genuine loss. Such sentiments cannot be underestimated, especially among the generation that endured the hardships of the Confederate War....thousands of families throughout the country were unable to reclaim their soldier's remains--many never learned their loved ones' exact fate on the battlefield or within the prison camps. The psychological impact of such a devastating loss cannot be underestimated when attempting to understand the primary motivations behind Southern memorialization."
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.
Cheryl Benard, president of the Alliance for the Restoration of Cultural Heritage, 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." Benard 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."
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.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.
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". However, Civil War historian David Blight asked: "Why, in the year , 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?"
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. 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.
In the three years since the Charleston shooting, Texas has removed 31 memorials, more than any other state. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, at least 114 Confederate monuments have been removed from public spaces during the same period.
Organizations encouraging monument removal
The Make It Right Project was founded in 2018 to encourage removal of Confederate monuments. They posted on June 3, 2018, a list of the 10 monuments it most wants removed:
The "Second Annual International Take 'Em Down" conference is scheduled for March 22–24, 2019, in Jacksonville, Florida. It is "designed to commemorate, celebrate and strategically align Take 'Em Down efforts." There will be a protest demonstration in Confederate Park. The first conference was held March 22–24th, 2018, in New Orleans.
Laws hindering removals
In Alabama (2017), Georgia (early 20th century), 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 cases of Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina prohibit altogether, the removal or alteration of public Confederate monuments. 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, the Cultural History Artifact Management and Patriotism Act, in 2015. 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. 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."
According to The New York Times, the Tennessee act shows "an express intent to prevent municipalities in Tennessee from taking down Confederate memorials." The same has been said about Florida's law.
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 in South Carolina.
Confederate monuments are largely located in cities, which, like other American cities, in the twentieth century became more diverse and more liberal politically than the remainder of the states in which they are located.
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).
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. On November 27, the Alabama Supreme Court reversed that ruling by a vote of 9 to 0. 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."
Protesters tear down statues
In North Carolina and Georgia, where removal is completely prohibited, protesters have torn down three Confederate monuments:
Of these, the first and third were damaged to the point that they cannot be repaired. In the case of Silent Sam, which was not seriously damaged, as of February 2019 it is in storage, awaiting a political decision about what to do with it.
In addition, the bust of Robert E. Lee in Ft. 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". People who want the statues gone "will go missing in the Okefenokee.... Don't say I didn't warn you."
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." Another 2017 poll, by HuffPost/YouGov, found that 48% of respondents favored the "remain" option, 33% favored removal, and 18% were unsure. 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.
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."
In Baltimore, one of the four empty plinths has been used, with eventual city tolerance though not approval, 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. 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."
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).
In August 2017, William A. Bell, the mayor of Birmingham, draped a Confederate memorial with plastic and surrounded it with plywood. "This country should in no way tolerate the hate that the KKK [Ku Klux Klan], neo-Nazis, fascists and other hate groups spew", said Bell. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall immediately 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". On January 14, 2019, a circuit judge found the law to be an un-Constitutional restriction of free speech.
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.
Kusilvak Census Area: In 1913, Judge John Randolph Tucker named the Wade Hampton Census Area to commemorate his father-in-law. It was renamed Kusilvak Census Area in 2015 to remove the blemish of having a place named for a slave-holding Confederate general.
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.
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.
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.
Dixie School District (1863). After a 22-year battle, bringing to light racism and anti-Semitism in liberal Marin County, the Dixie School District voted in April 2019 to change its name, though the new name has not yet been chosen. Some believe the district was named after Native American Mary Dixie. "Dixie" being a surname of the Miwok Indian tribe of California.
Confederate Memorial Hall, actually a brownstone row house at 1322 Vermont Avenue, just off Logan Circle. "A home and gathering place for Confederate veterans in Washington, D.C., and later, a social hall for white politicians from the South." The organization that owned it, the Confederate Memorial Association, keeps active the 1997 web page that lists the paintings and artifacts at this self-designated "Confederate Embassy". The building was seized and sold in 1997 to pay $500,000 in contempt of court fines that the organization's president, John Edward Hurley (who calls it "my...organization"), received in District of Columbia courts. It then became a private residence.
In 2017, Washington National Cathedral removed stained glass windows honoring Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. In 2016, it had removed the small Confederate flags in those windows.
An August 2017 meeting of the Florida League of Mayors was devoted to the topic of what to do with Civil War monuments.
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. The new (2016) Senate seal has only the flags of the United States and Florida.
On August 22, 2017, the Manatee County Commission voted 4–3 to move the Confederate monument in front of the county courthouse to storage. 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." 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.: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.
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. Soon after, research determined the memorialized man had not been a veteran but had falsified his age to get veteran benefits. After the removal of the Confederate monument and flag, the park is now referred to as the "former Confederate Park."
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. The bust had been commissioned in 1996 from Italian sculptor Aldo Pero for $6,000 by the defunct Laetitia Ashmore Nutt Chapter of UDC, chapter 1447. In 2018 there had been conflict over the future of the monument, both at a Ft. Myers City Council meeting and at the monument itself.
Confederate soldier statue in downtown Munn Park, created by the McNeel Marble Works.: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." 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. 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." 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", and the city decided to go ahead, noting that it will be moved in the daytime. The relocation started on March 21, 2019.
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. The new shield was in place in 2016.
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.
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.
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. Between them is a 32-foot-tall obelisk with the image of a Confederate flag chiseled into it." It was called "one of the most divisive symbols in Hillsborough County". 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. 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. 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. It was cut into 26 pieces to enable its removal. It was moved on September 5, 2017, to the Brandon Family Cemetery; the county paid half the $285,000 cost.
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. "Believed by local historians to be the last Confederate monument in Palm Beach County."
Jefferson Davis Middle School. Renamed Palm Springs Middle School in 2005.
Confederate Ave was renamed United Ave after the neighbourhood organized for a change in 2019.
Sylvania: The Screven County Confederate Dead Monument was pulled off its pedestal and "virtually destroyed" between August 30 and 31, 2018. The monument had been erected on Confederate Memorial Day, April 26, 1909, and moved to the city cemetery in the 1950s when the city turned the downtown Main Street park – where the monument was originally located – into a parking lot. The Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is offering a $2,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the those involved; the reward was subsequently increased to $10,000. A photo of the destroyed monument shows a flagpole with a Confederate flag.
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.
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. 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." "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." 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." On May 19, 2017, the Monumental Task Committee, 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."
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.
Confederate Monument, lifesize and bronze, on a granite pedestal. It was originally donated by the UDC and the United Confederate Veterans, and built by the Washington firm of Falvey Granite Company at a cost of $3,600. The artist is unknown. Inscription: "To Our Heroes of Montgomery Co. Maryland That We Through Life May Not Forget to Love The Thin Gray Line Erected A.D. 1913 / 1861 CSA 1865." (Gray was the color of Confederate uniforms.) The dedication was on June 3, 1913 (Jefferson Davis's birthday), and 3,000 (out of a county population of 30,000) attended. It was originally located in a small triangular park called Courthouse Square. In 1971, urban renewal led to the elimination of the Square, and the monument was moved to the east lawn of the Red Brick Courthouse (no longer in use as such), facing south. In 1994 it was cleaned and waxed by the Maryland Military Monuments Commission. It was defaced with "Black Lives Matter" in 2015; a wooden box was built over it to protect it. The monument was removed in July 2017 from its original location outside the Old Rockville Court House to private land, specifically White's Ferry in Dickerson, Maryland.
Memorial to 13 Confederate prisoners who died in captivity. Dedicated in 1963; removed October 2017.
"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."
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 Aug. 18, 2017 and boxed up two days later in preparation for its removal. The monument was removed on August 25, 2017.
Confederate Memorial Fountain (1916). City Council voted August 17, 2017 to remove it. It was removed on August 18, 2017. In its place is "a sign explaining how the monument came to be and what it originally signified." On its history, see "Montana and the Lost Cause".
A state law, the Cultural History Artifact Management and Patriotism Act of 2015, prevents local governments from removing monuments on public property, and places limits on their relocation within the property. 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." "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." He also has asked the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to "determine the cost and logistics of removing Confederate monuments from state property."
After the University of North Carolina renamed Saunders Hall in 2014 (see below), its Board of Trustees prohibited for 16 years any more renamings.
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 by protesters on August 20, 2018. As of November 20, 2019, the University has not decided whether or where the statue will be restored. In her January 19, 2019 letter of resigntion 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.
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.
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.
The UDC's publication North Carolina's Confederate Monuments and Memorials (1941) lists a memorial to the Ku Klux Klan "beside Highway 15 four miles from Concord". In 2018 it could not be located.
Confederate Soldiers Monument, Durham, before it was pulled down.
Confederate Soldiers Monument at the Old Durham County Courthouse, erected in 1924. It was pulled down and severely damaged during a protest on August 17, 2017. Eight individuals were arrested for destroying the memorial, but the charges were later dropped. The monument is being stored in a county warehouse. In early 2019, a joint city-county government committee to consider what to do with the damaged statue, recommended that it be displayed indoors in its crumpled state. "The committee said displaying the statue in its current damaged form would add important context. The proposal would leave the statue's pedestal in place and add outdoor markers honoring Union soldiers and enslaved people." The proposal needs approval from the Durham County Commission. Durham County maintains that the Cultural History Artifact Management and Patriotism Act of 2015 does not apply, since the law does not address damaged monuments.
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.
Old Chatham County Courthouse, Pittsboro, North Carolina (1908)
Confederate Soldiers Monument (1907), Old Chatham County Courthouse; erected by Winnie Davis Chapter, UDC. 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 ststement, 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". After a court ruled that the statue belonged to the UDC and not the county, it was removed on November 20, 2019.
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.
The Confederate Soldiers Monument (1905), 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. It was vandalized with paint in August 2017 and again late in 2018 with the words "Cowards & Traitors" written with black marker. The UDC, its owner, declined to move it to the Salem Cemetery after the city proposed it. 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. The owner of the property, Clachan Properties, also asked the UDC to remove it.
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. In 2015 the complete removal was approved by the required 2/3 majority of both houses of the Legislature. The flag was given to the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum.
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.
Franklin: The Forrest Crossing Golf Course, owned by the American Golf Corporation, changed its name to the Crossing Golf Course on September 22, 2017. It had been named after Confederate General and Klansman Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Removed statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, Health Sciences Park (formerly Forrest Park), Memphis
Three Confederate-themed city parks were "hurriedly renamed" prior to passage of the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act 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. The vote of the City Council was unanimous. At the time the monuments were dedicated, African Americans could not use those parks.
Jefferson Davis Monument located in Memphis Park, 1904/1964. The city is suing the state to get it removed. It was removed under police guard December 20, 2017.
Nathan Bedford Forrest Monument commissioned 1901, dedicated 1905, located in Health Sciences Park. It was installed thanks in part to Judge Thomas J. Latham's wife. It was located in the former Nathan Bedford Forrest Park, in 2015 renamed 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,< 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, under police guard, the same day, December 20, 2017. Poe, Ryan (August 14, 2017). "Strickland: 'No place' for hate groups in Memphis; city expects to sue state over Confederate monuments". The Tennessean. Retrieved October 19, 2017.</ref> The Sons of Confederate Veterans says they will sue the city. Their suit was unsuccessful.
Statue of J. Harvey Mathes, Confederate Captain, removed December 20, 2017.
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.:605
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. 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."
Confederate flags were removed from the Chapel in the mid-1990s "reportedly to improve acoustics".
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."
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.
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.
Robert E. Lee Elementary School (1939) was renamed for local photographer Russell Lee in 2016. He was a prominent photographer with the Farm Security Administration and the first Professor of Photography at the University of Texas.
Robert E. Lee Road. The Austin City Council voted unanimously to rename the street, whose signs had been defaced, for Azie Morton, the only African American to hold the office of Secretary of the Treasury.
After the removal of the Jefferson Davis statue in 2015 there were four remaining Confederate statues left on the South Mall at the University of Texas, portraying Generals Robert E. Lee and Albert Sidney Johnston, and Confederate Postmaster John H. Reagan. They were dedicated in 1933. On August 20–21, 2017 the university removed the three Confederate statues from the Austin campus grounds and relocated them to a museum. The decision was inspired by the Unite the Right rally August 10–11 in Charlottesville. At the sane time, a statue of Texas Governor James Hogg was also removed, although he had no direct link with the Confederacy. In 2018 it was announced that it would be reinstalled at a different location.
IDEA Allan School, a charter school, was renamed IDEA Montopolis in 2018. It had been named for Confederate Army officer John T. Allan. Four other related properties in Austin are being similarly renamed.
In 2019, Sydney Lanier High School was renamed Navarro High School in honor of 2007 graduate Juan Navarro, a U.S. Army officer killed in Afghanistan. Sydney Lanier was best known as a musician and poet, but had served as a private in the CSA.
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.
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. The city considered lending it to the Texas Civil War Museum in White Settlement, the only local institution wil looling to accept it, but declined because it would not be displayed in a historical context the Dallas City Commission found acceptable. In June, 2019, the city sold it in an online auction for $1,435,000, on condition that it not be displayed in the Dallas–Fort Worth area.
Robert E. Lee Park: The park was temporarily renamed "Oak Lawn Park" until a permanent name can be approved.
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. The school changed its Colonel mascot's uniform from Confederate gray to red and blue in 1991.
Jefferson Davis Hospital was built on a Confederate graveyard and operated from 1924–1938. The building saw many government uses after that, but was eventually converted to artist lofts in 2004 after being listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a heritage landmark to be preserved in perpetuity. The hospital was named for Jefferson Davis, former president of the Confederacy, in honor of the Confederate soldiers who had been buried in the cemetery and as a means to console the families of the deceased.
A second Jefferson Davis Hospital operated several miles away on Allen Parkway from 1938 to 1999, when it was demolished.
Dowling Street. Named for Confederate commander Richard W. Dowling. Renamed Emancipation Avenue in 2017. The street leads to Emancipation Park. The site originally was the only municipal park available to blacks, who pooled their money in 1872 to buy the property to celebrate their freedom.
In 2016, Jackson Middle School was renamed for Hispanic community activist Yolanda Black Navarro.
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. The students choose the "Wolves" and rebranding is proceeding.
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.
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."
"[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, without saying he had first shot and killed a Northern colonel on the property."
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. 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", and overnight between July 7 and 8, 2017, it was vandalized by being daubed in red paint. 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." The statues were covered in black shrouds on August 23, 2017. 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.
Jackson Park, named for Stonewall Jackson, was renamed Justice Park. In July, 2018, it was renamed a second time, to Court Square Park.
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."
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.
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. About 300 Confederate flag supporters, including members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, rallied before the City Council meeting, and after the vote the Sons of Confederate Veterans vowed to challenge the new local ordinance in court. 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.
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.
Staunton: Robert E. Lee High School (1967), to be renamed. As of October, 2018, the new name has not been chosen.
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.
In 1998, officials of the city of Vancouver, Washington, removed a marker of the Jefferson Davis Highway (formerly U.S. Route 99) and placed it in a cemetery shed. This action later became controversial when the issues surrounding the Blaine marker were being discussed in the state legislature in 2002. The marker was subsequently moved twice more, to eventually be placed alongside Interstate 5 on private land purchased for the purpose of giving this marker a permanent home in 2007.
The Robert E. Lee Tree was one of many trees in Seattle's Ravenna Park dedicated to persons of note. The tree and plaque were removed in 1926.
Robert E. Lee Elementary School (1955). The school district rejected a name change in 2015, and again in 2017. In 2018 it voted to change the name to Lee Elementary School.
Charles Town: It was in Charles Town, in the Jefferson County Courthouse, that abolitionistJohn Brown was tried; he was hanged nearby. 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. On September 7, 2017, the Jefferson County Commission voted 5-0 to let the plaque be. The group Women's March West Virginia attended each County Commission meeting holding signs that say "Remove the plaque". 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, and returned to the UDC.
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.
In August 2017, Madison mayor Paul Soglin ordered the removal of a plaque and a larger stone monument, erected in 1906 with UDC funding. The plaque, which referred to the interred Confederates as "valiant Confederate soldiers" and "unsung heroes", was removed on August 17, 2017. Removal of the stone monument, which contains the names of the soldiers buried there, did not take place immediately becauser 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.
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.
Palmer, Brian; Wessler, Seth Freed (December 2018). "The Costs of the Confederacy". Smithsonian Magazine. In the last decade alone, American taxpayers have spent at least $40 million on Confederate monuments and groups that perpetuate racist ideology.
^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".
^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."
^Gunter, Booth; Kizzire, Jamie (April 21, 2016). Gunter, Booth (ed.). "Whose heritage? Public Symbols of the Confederacy". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved October 6, 2017. In an effort to assist the efforts of local communities to re-examine these symbols, the SPLC launched a study to catalog them. For the final tally [of 1,503], the researchers excluded nearly 2,600 markers, battlefields, museums, cemeteries and other places or symbols that are largely historical in nature.
^"Whose Heritage? Public Symbols of the Confederacy". Southern Poverty Law Center. April 21, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2017. The second spike began in the early 1950s and lasted through the 1960s, as the civil rights movement led to a backlash among segregationists. These two periods also coincided with the 50th and 100th anniversaries of the Civil War
^Singman, Brooke (August 24, 2017). "Nancy Pelosi's dad helped dedicate Confederate statue". The New York Post. Retrieved October 16, 2017. It was May 2, 1948, when, according to a Baltimore Sun article from that day, "3,000" looked on as then-Gov. William Preston Lane Jr. and Pelosi's father, the late Thomas D'Alesandro Jr., spoke at the dedication of a monument to honor Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.
^"An act to ensure respectful treatment of the American flag and the North Carolina flag by state agencies and other political subdivisions of the state; to establish the Division of Veterans Affairs as the clearinghouse for the disposal of worn, tattered, and damaged flags; to provide for the protection of monuments and memorials commemorating events, persons, and military service in North Carolina history; and to transfer custody of certain historic documents in the possession of the Office of the Secretary of State to the Department of Cultural Resources and to facilitate public opportunity to view these documents". SL 2015-170,Actof23 July 2015(PDF).
^Sewell, Dan (August 26, 2017). "Little Ohio city swept into national battle over monuments". APNews.com. Associated Press. Retrieved August 27, 2017. It brought sudden attention to Franklin's 90-year-old rock marker, depicting Lee astride his horse, Traveller, and situated aside the "Dixie Highway," a roads network running from Miami to Michigan.
^Allison, John (1905). Notable Men of Tennessee. Personal and Genealogical With Portraits. 2. Atlanta, Georgia: Southern Historical Association. pp. 45–51. Retrieved January 13, 2016. Her efficiency activity [on] behalf of the Forrest monument, now erecting at Memphis, gave her a wide and highly favorable reputation with the Southern soldiers of the war between the states.
^"Road Named for Jefferson Davis Stirs Spirited Debate". The New York Times. February 14, 2002. Retrieved May 8, 2009. Another granite marker proclaiming the road's designation as the Jefferson Davis Highway was erected at the time in Vancouver, Wash., at the highway's southern terminus. It was quietly removed by city officials four years ago and now rests in a cemetery shed there, but publicity over the bill has brought its mothballing to light and stirred a contentious debate there about whether it should be restored.