Report says 110 Confederate memorials removed since 2015 — including eight in TN (where new National Confederate Museum is planned)

The Southern Poverty Law Center has produced a report saying 110 monuments, place names and other memorials or symbols tied to the Confederacy and its leaders have been removed nationwide since 2015, when a shooting at a black church in South Carolina energized a movement against such memorials. The group says it has identified 1,728 that remain.

The Associated Press, in an article on the report, says that the Sons of Confederate Veterans – which, along with the United Daughters of the Confederacy, played a role in erecting many of the memorials  – has at the same time been creating some new ones. The organization is also planning a National Confederate Museum to be located at Columbia, Tenn.

The SPLC report is HERE. A couple of excerpts indicating Tennessee trails some other Southern states both in establishing memorials and removing them:

Three states stand out for having far more monuments than others: Georgia (115), Virginia (108) and North Carolina (97). But the other eight states that seceded from the Union have their fair share: Texas (68), Alabama (60), South Carolina (58), Mississippi (52), Tennessee (42), Arkansas (41), Louisiana (32) and Florida (26).

…The survey identified 110 Confederate symbols removed since the Charleston massacre, including 47 monuments and four flags, and name changes for 37 schools, seven parks, three buildings and seven roads. Among them was the Confederate battle flag that had flown at the South Carolina State House grounds in Columbia for 54 years.

Texas led the way (31), followed by Virginia (14), Florida (9), Tennessee (8), Georgia (6), Maryland (6), North Carolina (5) and Oklahoma (5). Eighty-two removals were in former Confederate states.

Excerpt from the AP report:

The change is notable considering that removing such memorials wasn’t widely discussed until the killing of nine black people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, said Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a liberal activist organization based in Montgomery that monitors extremism. White supremacist Dylann Roof has been sentenced to death for the 2015 attack.

After the Charleston shooting, photos surfaced of Roof posing with the Confederate battle flag, helping to change the national dialogue.

“I think it kind of signifies something monumental,” said Beirich, director of the organization’s Intelligence Project. “I think people are finally willing to confront the history and come to terms with it.”

Many of the Confederate monuments that are now controversial were erected in the early 1900s by groups composed of women and veterans. Some honor generals or soldiers; others bear inscriptions that critics say wrongly gloss over slavery as a reason for the war or portray the Confederate cause as noble.

The Old South monuments are supported by groups including the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which is erecting new memorials even as others are removed.

“They’re taking them down, and we’re putting them up,” said Thomas V. Strain Jr., commander in chief of the organization. He said the group isn’t tracking monument removals or name changes, but to him, 110 “seems a little high.”

Members have raised two giant Confederate “mega-flags” on private property and erected four monuments in Alabama alone this year, Strain said, and they’re asking to place a new Confederate monument outside the courthouse in Colbert County, in northwest Alabama. Commissioners are considering the request.

The organization also is building a new headquarters that will include The National Confederate Museum in Columbia, Tennessee. The organization, on its website promoting the project, said the museum will counter attempts by opponents “to ban any and all things Confederate through their ideological fascism.”

The museum will tell the “Southern side” of the war, Strain said.

“It’s not just dedicated to the soldiers, it’s dedicated to the wives and children who had to endure that five years of hell also,” he said. “We’ll have Southern uniforms there, not Union uniforms. We’ll have Southern artillery shells, not Northern ones.”

6 Responses to Report says 110 Confederate memorials removed since 2015 — including eight in TN (where new National Confederate Museum is planned)

  • James White says:

    The Southern Poverty Law Center is just a big bunch of Marxist that want more money for their own pockets.
    Some of George Orwell’s ?quotes? would be appropriate now.
    The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.
    Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
    In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

  • Eddie White says:

    Being a 5th generation Tennessean who had a great grandfather that fought with the Union, and a great, great grandfather who fought with the Confederacy, I understand the division when it comes to the Civil War. Both of my ancestors were from Smith County and are buried a few miles a part. I don’t have a confederate flag flying at my house, but I do respect the history of our state and nation. I don’t blame flags or statues for what happened in Charleston. That was an evil act, but I still respect our history and the monuments that reflect that history.

  • Todd Shelton says:

    I was raised in Columbia,Tennessee. It took me until my early 20’s to start realizing that the reasons I had heard caused the Civil War were not the whole story. The history of slavery and the torture and killing of other human beings which was a part of our history was very hard to understand.
    When any statue put in a public place reminds certain people of the horrific way their relatives were treated and reminds them of how unfair they are still treated by many fellow citizens today, there is no justification for it to exhibited.
    Yes , it is a part of history and we as white Americans are still trying to come to grips with our share of responsibility for the racism that existed and still exists in our country. There is certainly needs to be room for people to honor their ancestors who were killed in a war that didn’t really tell them why they ere dying. It seems this is true of many wars. Inside museums seem to be the best place for such horrid history and high loss of life to be recorded, not in a public place where the victims of the racism do not have a choice whether to see an exhibit or not. And a museum should always tell the whole truth.

  • Kay White says:

    I feel that that confederate statues that are removed for the museum should go into that museum only. History is history and even though mush of our history was ugly and something that all Americans wish had not happened in the ways that took place, it has brought us to this day and should have taught each of us to respect one another. I have friends of color, red, yellow, black, brown and white and just as to God, they are all precious to me. I was in high school when the first intergration occurred and I spoke with the other students and we lined up at the door to welcome them. We started off right and ended up right. They were afraid coming to our school, just as we were somewhat afraid of how they would treat us. But starting off welcoming them made a world of difference. I do not know of one incident that ever happened at our school. We had some of the best ball players and the whites and blacks worked together. Anyone who thinks that going to heave will be all whites are sadly mistaken! Our love and actions here on earth tells if we are sincere in our devotion to God and what is right. Leave the history but create a trail in the Museum that shown that it lead to good in the end with a coming together of all people to do what is good and acceptable in the eyes of God. I hope that the Museum relates to the fact that it was the black people in Africa who came up with the ideal to sell the blacks who were of less than they considered themselves and saw a way to “Profit” and started the “selling” of people into slavery! It was a sad day. A day when families were split and a time when many lives were taken either in transport or at the hands of the mean ones who forced them on the ships by beating them! Greed and Powere Control was the evil at the root of this action. We compare the Indians who did not want to share their land. They did not what us to intrude, there was plenty of room but they considered it theirs, therefore many lives were given trying to attain the freedom from England’s harsh treatment that our ancestors fought to have.

  • Steve L. says:

    Is there a legal way to remove the statues? Yes! If you want the statues moved to a museum, or removed entirely, then do it the LEGAL WAY. Everyone is a victim of someone in today’s SJW environment. Being offended by history is a business in this country. If you cannot do it the LEGAL WAY, then it means you lost. And if that bugs you so much you cannot concentrate, run for political office on that issue. In another state, for you will not get elected in TN on this issue.

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