All across the South, southerners have been pushing back against confederate symbols and iconography. We’ve been following the developments in this blog.
A confederate memorial at the University of Texas is the target of vandalism, as we see in this story. “The memorial area is no stranger to defacement, it’s been targeted by vandals many times over the last several years, and in fact campus leaders removed statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson last fall to appease student protestors who complained Davis was a ‘racist symbol of slavery.’ ”
The school board in Houston, Texas is in the process of renaming schools currently named after prominent confederates. This story tells us, “It’s good bye to Lee High School and also Henry Grady, Richard Dowling and Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson middle schools. They all have to find new names after the Houston school board passed a resolution last month. ‘I think it was the right thing to do and I think the majority of the board members agreed with that and I’m elated that we passed that item,’ said Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones. She has pushed for HISD to abandon names of Confederate figures and find ones that better reflect the diversity of Houston’s students.”
A committee of the Florida House is taking steps to remove a statue of confederate general Edmund Kirby Smith from Statuary Hall in the US Capitol. According to this story, “The legislation (HB 141) calls for the Great Floridians Program within the Department of State be the agency responsible for coming up with choosing new Floridians to replace Smith and Gorrie. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, to all of us, representing the third largest state in this country, with the diversity and strength of Floridians born here or brought here, I believe we can do better,’ Nancy Hayman, a Miami-Dade County Commissioner and former state legislator, said in her testimoney in support of the bill. Miami-Dade’s County Commission recently passed a resolution allowing the Great Floridians Program to review who is representing Florida. Members of the committee agreed. Dania Beach Democrat Joseph Geller called it a ‘disgrace’ that Smith is one of two Floridians honored in the U.S. Capitol. ‘I don’t know very much about General Kirby Smith, but he’s a not a symbol of the best that this state has to offer, and he ought to be removed as quickly as that can be done without any question.’ ”
According to this story, South Carolina State Senator Marlon Kimpson introduced a bill in the South Carolina legislature to remove the confederate battle flag from The Citadel’s Summerall Chapel. “The bill, if approved, would require a vote by the institution’s board of directors to move the flag. Currently a two-thirds majority in the General Assembly is needed — the same as was required to remove the rebel banner from Statehouse grounds last summer. Kimpson said his bill reflects the desire of most of The Citadel’s board and school leadership. ‘The majority of the board voted to request the General Assembly to exempt the gift from the yacht club (the Confederate flag) from their Heritage Act,’ Kimpson said. ‘The legislation is narrowly tailored to achieve what the president, board and community all want: to remove that symbol of division from a place of worship on a campus so that the school can move forward into the 21st Century.’ The legislation allows the flag to be moved to another location on the campus or to a museum.”
Confederate heritage continues its nationwide retreat.