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Southern Poverty Law Center Tabulates 1,503 Confederate Symbols in U.S.
1,503 Confederate symbols in public spaces


The most prominent of Confederate glorification is Stone Mountain, Ga., dedicated on May 9, 1970. Stone Mountain is notorious as the site of the founding of the second Ku Klux Klan in 1915. The memorial carving depicts Confederate President Jefferson Davis and generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. The carving is 400 feet above the ground, measures 90' x 190' feet, and is recessed 42' into the mountain. The site is a state park with a museum and a tourist railroad.
Photo: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

In the June 2017 LASN issue we published a news item of New Orleans leading the way in removing Confederate monuments The first to go in NOLA was the Liberty Place obelisk on April 24, which glorified the 1874 battle for white supremacy, soon followed by the removal of statues honoring Confederate general P.G.T. Beauregard, Confederate States President Jefferson Davis and finally, on May 19, the removal of the 16'6" tall Robert E. Lee statue on the 8'4" base atop the towering 60' column at Tivoli Circle (aka Lee Circle) on St. Charles Avenue.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu called them "four monuments to the Cult of the Lost Cause."

The June 17, 2015 murders of 9 black members at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston by a young white supremacist, along with such violent confrontations as occurred in Charlottesville, Va., during a white nationalist rally, and the subsequent vehicular mayhem, have continued to further focus attention on the considerable number of statues and other symbols glorifying the Confederacy, particularly in the South.

Immediately following the events in Charlottesville, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh had the Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson monuments removed at night.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has identified 1,503 Confederate symbols in public spaces. Virginia leads the way with 223, followed by Texas (178), Georgia (174), North Carolina (140), Mississippi (131), South Carolina (112) and Alabama (107), to name the most prominent. SPLC tabulated 718 monuments and statues; 109 public schools named for Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis or other Confederate heroes; 80 counties and cities named for Confederates; 9 official Confederate holidays in six states; and even 10 U.S. military bases named for Confederates.

After Charlottesville, Barbara Tulipane, CAE, president and CEO of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) weighed in on Confederate monuments in public parks.

"Our parks are home to many monuments of historical significance. While these monuments may be highly regarded by some, to others they represent hate and oppression. We cannot change our history, but we can take the necessary steps to ensure every person, regardless of their race, background or culture, is at ease in our parks. Our American motto: e pluribus unum--out of many we are one--is more important now than ever and still holds true."

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November 22, 2019, 12:46 am PDT

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