The Week in Confederate Heritage

We begin with this article from Richmond, Virginia, about a racist backlash against progress. “Robert C. Smith is not happy with the University of Richmond. Smith, a Richmond lawyer who graduated from the university’s law school, is the great-great grandson of T.C. Williams, one of the school’s early and prominent benefactors. Until last year, the official name of the university’s law school was the T.C. Williams School of Law. But that ended in September when the university’s board voted unanimously to change the name to the University of Richmond School of Law following the adoption of a policy that prohibits the university from naming any building, program, professorship or entity ‘for a person who directly engaged in the trafficking and/or enslavement of others or openly advocated for the enslavement of people.’ Williams, a graduate and trustee of the university whose family donated $25,000 to fund the law school following his death, was a wealthy 19th-century businessman in Richmond who owned tobacco companies. According to the university, census and local government records show that Williams was also an enslaver whose businesses were taxed on owning 25 to 40 enslaved people. The university said personal tax records for Williams show that he was taxed on owning three enslaved people. Smith, his great-great grandson, says the university has caved to ‘woke activists’ and ignored the financial contributions of generations of his family members, particularly Williams’s son, T.C. Williams Jr. Smith has said the law school could have kept the name and attributed it to the son instead. ‘The University of Richmond would not exist but for the benevolence of the Williams family,’ Smith said in an email Friday. The current value of those gifts, he said, is $3.6 billion. And now he wants it back.” So much for having any benevolence. This is all about ego for this racist. Note the use of the word, “woke” as a perjorative. Racists of old used to label white folks working for justice for African Americans as “n-word lovers.” Today’s racists use “woke” as the new “n-word lover.”

The article continues, “In a five-page letter sent on Jan. 30 to University of Richmond President Kevin Hallock, Smith said the decision to ‘dename’ the school was ‘shameful,’ and he called Hallock ‘a carpet bagging weasel.’ ‘Since you and your activists went out of your way to discredit the Williams name and since presumably the Williams family money is tainted, demonstrate your ‘virtue’ and give it all back,’ Smith wrote in the letter, first reported by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. ‘I suggest you immediately turn over the [school’s] entire $3.3 billion endowment to the current descendants of T.C. Williams Sr.’ He said the university could write a note for the remaining $300 million ‘providing that it is secured by all the campus buildings and all your woke faculty pledge their personal assets and guarantee the note.’ Smith also wrote that T.C. Williams and three of his brothers all served in the Confederacy and ‘did their duty to protect their wives, children, homes and public institutions from a voracious and plundering invader’ during the Civil War, when Southern states seceded for reasons rooted in defending slavery.”

We read, “So far, Smith said, he has had no response from the university. He did not respond to a question about whether he planned to pursue any legal action against the school. A university spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment on the letter. ‘We recognize that some may be disappointed or disagree with this decision,’ Hallock wrote in a letter to the university community sent when the decision to officially rename the law school was made in September. ‘We also recognize the role the Williams family has played here and respect the full and complete history of the institution.’ A university spokesperson said the university has not referred to the law school as the T.C. Williams School of Law for 20 years. While the names are the same, the T.C. Williams at the center of the University of Richmond debate is not the same T.C. Williams whose name was removed from an Alexandria, Va., high school in 2020. That T.C. Williams was a former superintendent of Alexandria schools who espoused racist views and strongly opposed desegregation efforts. The name change at that school had been sought for decades by Black students and residents who called it an affront to have a school named for an individual who pushed to keep people like them in separate institutions. The process to look at renaming buildings and sites at the 4,000-student private university in Virginia’s capital has been occasionally contentious. It follows from an ongoing look at the school’s ties to slavery, including the university’s Race and Racism project, which explored and catalogued its history of discrimination. In March 2021, the school announced it would not remove the names of individuals connected to slavery and segregation from two campus buildings. The buildings were named for the Rev. Robert Ryland, the school’s founding president who enslaved people, and Douglas Southall Freeman, a journalist and university trustee who opposed interracial marriage and advocated for segregation. That decision prompted an uproar on campus as many faculty members and students demanded the names be removed. The Black Student Coalition, which advocated for removing the names, called on students and faculty members to ‘disaffiliate’ from university activities until the decision was reversed.”

According to the article, “In response to the controversy, the university created the Naming Principles Commission to ‘develop and recommend principles to guide future decisions about naming and removal or modification of names for buildings, professorships, programs, and other named entities at Richmond.’ The commission conducted surveys and listening sessions, seeking opinions and input from more than 7,500 students, staffers, faculty members, alumni and parents. In March 2022, the university announced it was removing the names of six people, including Freeman and Ryland, from campus buildings. ‘The Board’s decision to adopt the principles and remove building names, while ultimately unanimous, was extremely challenging,’ Hallock and the board said in a joint statement at the time. ‘Members of the Board began this process with strongly held differences of opinion, and the subsequent discussions were candid, thoughtful, and constructive. In the end, the Board concluded that the decisions outlined above are the best course of action for the University.’ In an America wrestling with a more complete telling of its history over the past decade, numerous colleges and universities have removed names from campuses of individuals tied to slavery or racist practices or beliefs. Last year at James Madison University, three buildings named for Confederate military leaders were renamed for African Americans. And the California Institute of Technology said it would rename buildings and locations that honored followers of the eugenics movement, a form of pseudoscientific racism. In 2015, Georgetown University removed the names of two Jesuit priests who had served as presidents at the school. Both were involved with selling enslaved people to pay off the school’s debts. One of the buildings was renamed for Isaac Hawkins, a man who had been sold by the Jesuits. Another was named for Anne Marie Becraft, a Black educator. Smith, however, said his great-great grandfather did nothing to merit having his name removed from the law school. His asking price for reimbursement in January went up after a vituperative letter in October to the university. In that one, he asked for the school to pay his firm $51 million to distribute to his family members.”

Next is this article from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. “The Navy has removed the name of a member of the Confederacy from a building on the U.S. Naval Academy’s campus and renamed the hall after former President and ‘Ring Knocker’ Jimmy Carter. The building, constructed in the early 1900s, was originally named after Matthew Fontaine Maury, an oceanography pioneer — known as the ‘pathfinder of the seas’ — who resigned his U.S. commission to serve in the Confederate States Navy. The name change comes after Congress directed a naming commission to review military assets and rename those with Confederate ties following the murder of George Floyd by police in 2020. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin accepted the commission’s recommendations in September and ordered the services to make the changes by the end of this year. The newly minted Carter Hall houses the academy’s systems and weapons engineering department. In addition to his role as the 39th U.S. president, Carter graduated from the academy in 1946 and spent seven years in service as a submarine officer. ‘By naming this building in his honor, we not only recognize his great contributions, but ensure that his legacy will forever inspire our nation’s future leaders,’ Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Sean Buck said at the renaming ceremony, according to a Navy press release. Renaming the hall is expected to cost the Navy $12,000, according to the naming commission’s report. That report also calls for the Navy to change the name of Buchanan House and Buchanan Road, two academy fixtures named in honor of Franklin Buchanan, the academy’s first superintendent who joined the Confederacy, rose to the rank of admiral and commanded several naval battles that killed hundreds of U.S. sailors. The Navy has not announced the status of that renaming effort, and officials did not return a request for comment by Navy Times’ deadline Friday.”

According to the article, “Both Naval Academy buildings were named after the traitors in 1915, when the ‘Lost Cause’ notion propagated the idea that the Confederate effort was a righteous battle for the rights of southern states. Approximately 25 percent of academy midshipmen joined and fought for the Confederacy in 1861, according to the commission report. The commission did not recommended a change to a column in Memorial Hall that lists academy graduates who died during naval operations in service to the Confederacy. ‘The roll call simply states Confederate or U.S. service after the graduate’s name,’ the commission report states. ‘Due to the limited factual nature of the roll call, the Commission believes it may remain as structured.’ The commission also recommended renaming the guided-missile cruiser Chancellorsville, which is named after the location of a Confederate victory, as well as a ship named after Maury. The Navy has not provided further details on those efforts. Left unaddressed is the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis, which was named after the segregationist senator known as the father of the modern navy. Stennis fought Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo Zumwalt’s efforts to implement cultural changes in the service in response to racial unrest, retired Navy officer John Cordle wrote in an October opinion piece calling for the carrier’s name to be changed. ‘During a meeting with Zumwalt, Stennis opined that ‘they [Blacks] had come down from the trees a lot later than we did,’ according to Zumwalt’s memoir, ‘On Watch,’’ Cordle wrote. Earlier in his career, Stennis prosecuted three Black sharecroppers who, through torture, had been forced into a confession, thus winning convictions and death sentences that were eventually overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, according to Cordle.”

The article continues, “President Ronald Reagan named CVN 74 after Stennis in 1988. ‘It would not only be historically correct, but morally correct, that this issue be directly addressed by Congress and the Navy,’ Cordle wrote. ‘Without question, Stennis perpetuated and personified racist beliefs.’ Cordle noted that renaming the ship would honor past and present Stennis sailors, and included in his piece the thoughts of a Black junior Navy officer: ‘We display artifacts that speak to our values, and we leave them to our children. It shapes the identity of who we are for future generations,’ the officer said, according to Cordle. ‘Changing (Stennis’ name) would show that we have faced our history — and learned from it.’ “

This story gives us a timeline of former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and the confederate flag. [begin quote]

2000: South Carolina becomes the last state to remove the Confederate flag from its seat of government. But as part of a compromise crafted by Gov. Jim Hodges (D), the flag would continue to fly on a 30-foot pole in front of the Capitol.

2004: After upsetting a longtime GOP incumbent in a primary, Haley is elected state representative.

2009: Haley runs for governor. She and other GOP gubernatorial candidates are asked about the flag at a debate and express no interest in trying to remove it from the State House grounds. “There were a lot of hurt feelings” on both sides of the Confederate flag issue, she says, adding: “I would not want to revisit that issue.”

2010: In an interview with the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Haley indicates the Confederate flag issue is settled, because it takes two-thirds of the legislature to make any further changes: “So it’s not something I see as a priority right now.” She adds that she will work to talk with groups critical of the flag “about the heritage and how this is not something that is racist.” (She also pauses when asked about celebrating a Confederate History Month before saying she would support it. “The same as you have Black History Month, and you have Confederate History Month and all of those, as long as it’s done in a positive way and not a negative way.”)

May 2010: Haley reiterates her position while suggesting she, as an Indian American woman, might be able to smooth things over amid an NAACP boycott of the state.

2011: Haley’s chief of staff reiterates there is no real appetite in the state legislature to revisit the issue.

July 2011: NAACP President Ben Jealous calls out Haley by name. “Perhaps one of the most perplexing examples of the contradictions of this moment in history is that Nikki Haley, South Carolina’s first governor of color continues to fly the Confederate flag in front of her state’s capitol.” A Haley spokesman responds that “revisiting that issue is not part of the governor’s agenda.”

October 2014: Haley’s Democratic opponent in her reelection campaign, state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, calls for the removal of the flag. Haley’s office seems to open the door a crack, saying, “If the General Assembly wants to revisit the issue that’s fine. But any such effort should be done in a thoughtful bipartisan way and not in the heat of the political campaign season.” At a later debate, though, Haley downplays the significance of the issue. “I can honestly say I have not had one conversation with a single CEO about the Confederate flag,” she says.

November 2014: A Winthrop University poll shows South Carolinians support allowing the flag to remain by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.

June 17, 2015: White supremacist Dylann Roof kills nine Black people, including a state senator, at a historically Black church in Charleston. The same day, Haley opens the door a bit wider to revisiting the flag issue, saying, “I think the state will start talking about that again, and we’ll see where it goes.” While other flags at the State House are lowered to half-staff, the Confederate flag remains at full-staff, because the 2000 compromise required any changes to be approved by two-thirds of the state legislature.

June 18, 2015: Photos emerge of Roof wearing the flags of racist, White-minority regimes in southern Africa, and it is reported that he drove a car with a Confederate flag license plate.

June 19, 2015: With Democrats focusing intently on the issue and more photos emerging of Roof embracing the Confederate flag, Haley demurs when asked about it. “Right now to start having policy conversations with the people of South Carolina, I understand that’s what you all want,” she says. “My job is to heal the people of this state.” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) says, “It’s him … not the flag,” and adds of the 2000 compromise: “It works here, that’s what the statehouse agreed to do.”

June 20, 2015: More than a thousand people protest the flag at the state capitol. Mitt Romney, a Haley ally who provided a major early endorsement of her 2010 campaign, and GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush call for removing the flag. (In 2001, Bush, then governor of Florida, put it in a museum.) Other GOP presidential candidates punt and say South Carolina should decide. A small number of GOP state legislators call for removing the flag, with one admitting he previously “just didn’t have the balls for five years to do it.”

June 22, 2015: Haley calls for the removal of the flag, appearing with lawmakers including the state’s two GOP senators, Graham and Tim Scott, who is Black. “Some divisions are bigger than a flag,” she says. “We are not going to allow this symbol to divide us any longer. The fact that people are choosing to use it as a sign of hate is something we cannot stand.” Mississippi lawmakers begin talking about removing the emblem from their state flag (something that would ultimately happen in 2020).

June 27, 2015: An activist scales the flagpole and briefly removes the flag.

July 9, 2015: Haley signs the bill officially removing the flag, after it passes in the state Senate 37-3 and the state House 94-20.

November 2019: Haley writes a book that includes a chapter on the decision. She writes of Roof, “The evil act he had committed had robbed the good-intentioned South Carolinians who supported the flag of this symbol of heritage and service. He had encouraged everyone’s worst stereotype for our state. Clearly, something had to be done. But at the same time, I worried that allowing the killer to define what the flag represented for everyone was a surrender. Why should he, of all people, be given that power?” She says that when pictures of Roof with the Confederate flag were discovered, she told her husband, “I don’t see any way that flag can continue to fly at the statehouse.”

Dec. 6, 2019: During her book tour, Haley tells conservative radio host Glenn Beck that Roof “hijacked” the meaning of the flag. “And here is this guy that comes out with this manifesto, holding the Confederate flag, and had just hijacked everything that people thought of. … People saw it as service and sacrifice and heritage, but once he did that there was no way to overcome it, and the national media came in droves.”

Dec. 11, 2019: Haley later expands in a Washington Post op-ed, saying she was “proud” of what she and the legislature did. “Everyone knows the flag has always been a symbol of slavery, discrimination and hate for many people,” she writes. “But not everyone sees the flag that way. That’s hard for non-Southerners to understand, but it’s a fact.” [end quote]

From the post: “West face of the Confederate Monument at Arlington National Cemetery, photographed in September 2011 by Wikimedia user Tim1965”

Some of the usual suspects and possibly some useful idiots have filed a lawsuit to keep the US from removing the confederate monument from Arlington National Cemetery. Andy Hall is all over this with his typical full and cogent coverage.

The Confederate monument sits next to the Confederate flagpole outside the Marshall County Courthouse in downtown Albertville. (Paul Gattis |

Next is this article from Alabama. “Earlier this month the American Bar Association urged state and local governments to remove Confederate memorabilia and other symbols from courthouses. It’s being met with skepticism in deeply conservative Alabama, where 180 live memorials to the Confederacy still exist including nearly two dozen at county courthouses. The ABA resolution could spark renewed attention on the existence of Confederate monuments and images near the halls of justice. ‘These racist relics do not accurately reflect our shared American experience and, most importantly, promote the exact opposite of what equal justice should look like,’ said Tafeni English-Relf, director of the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center’s Alabama State Office. Critics are dismissing the ABA’s resolution, and the organization itself as having a left-leaning bent on highly-charge cultural issues like gun control, abortion, and same-sex marriage. Representatives with the Sons of Confederate Veterans also blast further pursuits to have Confederate images removed in Alabama as a waste of taxpayers’ money. They also claim they have the law on their side: The Alabama Memorial Preservation Act, approved in 2017, making it illegal for anyone to remove or alter an ‘architecturally significant monument’ 40 years or older from a public place. A $25,000 one-time fine is often associated with a monument’s removal. The Alabama State Bar Association is also keeping its distance from the ABA resolution. A spokeswoman with the Alabama State Bar says that while the ABA is a ‘voluntary trade association of lawyers’ free to take a position on issues, the Alabama State Bar is a licensing and regulatory agency required to comply with state and federal laws. That prevents it from taking public positions on policy issues. Melissa Warnke, a spokeswoman for the Alabama State Bar, said removal of ‘certain Confederate era symbols’ implicates the 2017 law. … Unique Dunston, founder of Reclaiming Our Time – the organization pushing the hardest for the removal of two Marshall County monuments – said she is appreciative of the ABA’s resolution but does not feel it will carry much sway in conservative counties. Marshall County is a staunch Republican area in which over 83% of voters in 2020 voted for former President Donald Trump. Said Dunston about the ABA’s resolution, ‘it is another opportunity to continue the conversation concerning the Confederacy and its symbols of white supremacy. We have not given up on our efforts to have both Confederate monuments in Marshall County relocated.’ “

The article goes on to tell us, “Confederate heritage groups opposed to relocating the monuments have a different viewpoint, arguing that the monuments do not reflect biases against racial or ethnic minorities. Ed Kennedy, a Madison County representative of the Heritage Protection of North Alabama (HPNA), said the Confederate memorials are not different than the U.S. flag. ‘The U.S. flag flew over legalized slavery in the U.S. for 90 years,’ Long said in response to the ABA’s resolution. ‘The U.S. flag flew over military segregated by regulations for 83 years. That is blatant racism. As soon as the ABA considers removing the U.S. flag, we might consider removing Confederate memorabilia.’ ” That, of course, is classic false equivalency fallacy. The US ended slavery, and it was the confederate flag that was displayed in support of segregation. We continue reading, “Kennedy argues the Confederate monuments were placed by ‘our ancestors who intentionally put them so people would be reminded of the immense losses of our families and our battlefields.’ He said, ‘There was no other reason to place them except to memorialize them.’ ” Regular readers of this blog know that’s a lie. “The SPLC, which has authored three editions of ‘Whose Heritage?’ that explores the struggle to remove Confederate monuments, takes aim at what they call the ‘myth’ about the ‘Lost Cause’ narrative of the Civil War in an attempt to distance the South and the Confederacy from slavery and to reintegrate rebels as honorable fighters.”

Live things honoring Confederates

The number and type of live things honoring the Confederacy as of Jan. 20, 2022.

Live things honoring Confederates
723 monuments
741 roadways
201 schools
51 buildings
38 parks
22 holidays
10 military bases
7 commemorative license plates
6 bodies of water
6 bridges
Source: Southern Poverty Law Center

Table: John Sharp  Get the data  Created with Datawrapper

The article tells us, “The monuments, the SPLC and others say, were erected by white Southerners in response to Reconstruction and during the Jim Crow era. The SPLC has called them ‘symbols of hate.’ And outside of courthouses, critics believe they intimidate. ‘When positioned in front of courthouses, judge chambers and other sites of the judiciary, these Confederate symbols make a mockery of the notion of a color-blind, race-neutral legal system,’ said Hilary Green, a former professor of history at the University of Alabama who has dived into the Confederate monument controversy and created an interactive map in 2020 to locate sites where monuments were removed or renamed. Green, who is now a professor of Africana Studies at Davidson College in North Carolina, said she applauds states taking action to have the monuments relocated from courthouses. North Carolina, according to media reports, has 42 monuments at county courthouses. ‘Alabama should follow the lead of its peers, especially, if they are committed to a fair, non-biased legal system and judiciary,’ she said. Camille Bennett, who has headed up Project Say Something and has spearheaded efforts to have the Confederate monument relocated from the Lauderdale County Courthouse, said while the ABA’s resolution ‘is a step in the right direction,’ the biggest hope for change lies with the Alabama Legislature. ‘Our only hope right now is for the Memorial Preservation Act to be overturned somehow or there be some changes in that legislation,’ she said.”

The article continues, “The Legislature, ruled by a Republican supermajority, has done little in recent years to address the law. An effort by state Rep. Juandalynn Givan, D-Birmingham, to allow cities and counties to request permission from a state committee to move the monuments to another location – such as a park or a state agency land for preservation – was shot down by a 6-4 vote in an Alabama House committee in 2021. … Most of the Confederate monuments remaining near the courthouses in Alabama are in counties that are mostly white and are governed by mostly Republicans. Macon County is different. Located in Alabama’s ‘Black Belt’ region, the county is 80% Black, while Tuskegee is 97% Black. The monument has been the subject of on-and-off protests for years and attempts to remove it date back before the recent national push to have Confederate monuments and imagery removed. Circuit Judge Steven Perryman ruled last month that the site where the Confederate monument has stood since 1909 should revert to the Macon County Commission. Perryman’s ruling was based on the terms of a 1906 deed that gave the space to the Tuskegee Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy for the purpose of maintaining a ‘park for white people’ and ‘maintaining a monument’ to Confederate soldiers. Perryman, in his ruling, said there is no evidence the space has been maintained a segregated park. He said the terms of the 117-year-old deed shows that the land should revert back to the county since it was not being used as a ‘park for white people.’

A Confederate monument in Tuskegee, Ala., is shown with its base wrapped in tarps on June 12, 2020. A judge ruled in January 2023, for structure and its surrounding park is ongoing and will be considered by the Alabama Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Kim Chandler)AP

According to the article, “Jay Hinton, a Montgomery-based attorney representing a Confederate heritage group fighting against the ruling, said he does not believe the deed is enforceable, adding that the Tuskegee chapter ‘for 315 years, has not kept people off the park.’ ‘We’ve allowed people to use it for all of those years,’ Hinton said. ‘The court ruled that we violated deed language because we didn’t keep Blacks off the park. It’s a horrific ruling. Society ought to think so as well.’ Macon County Commission Chairman Louis Maxwell said the focus for Tuskegee is for the county to take ownership of the property, and then decide ‘what goes on the property.’ He said the county commission is ‘not interested’ in seeing the monument destroyed and will work with groups to have it relocated. ‘We contend this is public property and it’s for the citizens of Macon County,’ Maxwell said. ‘Our goal is we want to get this matter resolved once and for all.’ He also claims that the Tuskegee Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy ‘no longer exists,’ and there is no provision to have it transferred to a Confederate heritage group not located in Macon County. ‘The closest (similar group) we found was in Andalusia,’ he said. Attorney Fred Gray Jr., who is working with his father – civil rights icon Fred Gray Sr. – to get the issue resolved, said he finds it troubling the Tuskegee chapter no longer has a member living within the city. ‘It just goes to show that they just want to control the very image of what goes out from this particular city,’ said Gray. Maxwell said he is concerned about having the case appealed to the Alabama State Supreme Court, where all 10 justices are white, and a Democratic justice has not served since 2011. ‘I pray they will just be fair and look at the facts and make a decision based on that,’ he said. Gray said he will focus on the merits of the case, and the questionable deed. But he said a Confederate monument near the courthouse underscores a problem. ‘It certainly goes against true justice for all the people,’ Gray said.”

We next go to this article from Frankfort, Kentucky. “As the country approaches President’s Day on Monday, state Representative Chad Aull, D-Lexington, said it is past time to strike three other holidays from state law that, while no longer observed, honor the Confederacy. ‘Just as we removed the Jefferson Davis statue from the Capitol Rotunda in 2020, we need to remove these honorary holidays dedicated to the Confederacy,’ said Aull. ‘Symbolically, we should take that step now, during Black History Month, but at a minimum, we need to do it before the General Assembly wraps up its work next month.’ Aull’s House Bill 211 would remove three holidays listed in KRS 2.110: Robert E. Lee Day, which is Jan. 19, and Confederate Memorial Day and Jefferson Davis Day, both of which occur on June 9. ‘Kentucky has taken steps before to right past wrongs like this,’ Aull said. ‘In 1976, for example, the General Assembly formally and finally ratified the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, even though those amendments – which ended slavery, reaffirmed citizen rights and removed race as a barrier to voting – had been in place for more than a century. Former state Representative Mae Street Kidd led that effort because, she said, ‘I am a proud Kentuckian, and I didn’t want that blot to remain on our history.’ Well, I don’t want the blot of these Confederate holidays to remain on our history.’ “

 The Private Confederate Soldier Monument in Nashville’s Centennial Park. (Photo: Nashville Public Library)

This article from Nashville, Tennessee, tells us, “A Confederate monument will remain in one of Nashville’s most-visited public parks after the Tennessee Historical Commission on Friday rejected the city’s efforts to move it. The commission, whose 24 voting members are appointed by Gov. Bill Lee,  rejected a petition brought by Nashville parks officials to remove a life-sized statue of a Confederate soldier from Centennial Park, where it has sat across a field from an iconic replica of the Parthenon for more than a century. The Metro Board of Parks and Recreation, the commission determined, failed to meet the burden of showing there was a need to move the bronze statue ‘based on historical or other compelling public interest.’ The law must be ‘liberally construed in favor of historic preservation,’ the commission concluded. The Private Confederate Soldier Monument was unveiled in 1909 during a reunion of a Confederate Veterans Association. The statue has largely escaped public scrutiny over other Confederate monuments displayed in Tennessee public spaces, including the years- long controversy over the display in the Tennessee State Capitol of a bust of early Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest. The bust was removed in 2021. In 2019, the bronze statue of the young, unnamed Confederate soldier was vandalized, with the words ‘they were racists’ in red paint. Nashville park officials debated then moving the statue, but voted instead to add a marker providing historical context. The marker was never added. The next year, after the deaths of George Floyd and Breana Taylor, the Metro Board of Parks and Recreation revisited the decision, with one board member calling the statue of the sitting soldier a ‘divisive symbol.’ The board last year petitioned the historical commission for permission to remove it, but did not specify where it might go. Macy Amos, Nashville’s attorney, argued on Friday the monument may not be a ‘memorial’ at all, which would remove it from the commission’s oversight. The statue was dedicated to the Lost Cause ideology, she argued, referring to a reinterpretation of the Civil War rather than a historical event or individual. Metro officials were also concerned about the possibility of the statue again attracting vandalism. H. Edward Phillips, an attorney representing the Sons of Confederate Veterans Joseph E. Johnston Camp 28 —which opposed the removal — argued the monument was in fact dedicated to individuals, noting that on it is inscribed the names of more than 500 soldiers, about half of whom had died at the time the memorial was erected. The Tennessee Historical Commission has the authority to approve or deny petitions for waivers to the state’s Historic Preservation Act, which says that no memorial regarding a historic conflict, entity, event, figure or organization on public property may be moved or otherwise disturbed.”


  1. The Lying Liar · · Reply

    you are embrasing and supporting the very forces that are slowly erasing our country’s identity. Rename anything named for a slaveholder? Does this also include (elsewhere, if this rot spreads) George Washington? The more intelligent place to start would be Africa, where Africans kidnapped and enslaved other Africans, and sold the ones they couldn’t use worldwide. Funny how people get all worked up over something that happened over 150 years ago, but conveniently ignore what is going on today, where Africa remains the world’s epicenter of human slavery. your attitude toward the monument at Arlington, itself stolen from Robert E Lee. That monument was designed as not a monument to the Confederate cause,  but in the spirit of reconciliation between the two factions.  And why is it that only the Union is allowed to honor their dead with monuments?  They have them by the plenty.  You, sir have chosen sides, and the wrong one at that. At least unlike the Union army, the Confederates never targeted civilians and burned their cities, farms and homes. [Edited]

    1. I can always count on you idiots to show your ignorance and stupidity. Some things never change. Moving statues away from courthouses does nothing to our national identity. Only a total moron would think so. Also, only a total moron would not understand the difference between George Washington and a confederate slave owner. Your fallacious thinking here is known as a false equivalence. You appear to think there are monuments to African chieftains here in the United States. Another false equivalence on your part. This is a history blog, you idiot, which is why I concentrate on what happened in the 17th and 18th centuries. Arlington was not stolen from R. E. Lee. If you knew anything at all about it, you’d know Arlington never belonged to R. E. Lee. No one can steal an item from someone who doesn’t own that item. The government paid Lee’s son, who was the heir to the property, for it. As to your claim about the confederate monument in Arlington National Cemetery, as usual, and just like what’s depicted on the monument, it’s a lie. It is a monument to the confederate cause because “The elaborately designed monument offers a nostalgic, mythologized vision of the Confederacy, including highly sanitized depictions of slavery. Standing on a 32-foot-tall pedestal, a bronze, classical female figure, crowned with olive leaves, represents the American South. She holds a laurel wreath, a plow stock and a pruning hook, with a Biblical inscription at her feet: ‘They have beat their swords into plough-shares and their spears into pruning hooks.’ The statue stands on a pedestal with four cinerary urns, one for each year of the war, and is supported by a frieze with 14 shields, one for each of the 11 Confederate states and the border states of Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri. Thirty-two life-sized figures depict mythical gods alongside Southern soldiers and civilians. Two of these figures are portrayed as African American: an enslaved woman depicted as a ‘Mammy,’ holding the infant child of a white officer, and an enslaved man following his owner to war. An inscription of the Latin phrase ‘Victrix causa diis placuit sed victa Caton’ (‘The victorious cause was pleasing to the gods, but the lost cause to Cato’) construes the South’s secession as a noble ‘Lost Cause.’ This narrative of the Lost Cause, which romanticized the pre-Civil War South and denied the horrors of slavery, fueled white backlash against Reconstruction and the rights that the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments (1865-1870) had granted to African Americans. The image of the faithful slave, embodied in the two figures on the memorial, appeared widely in American popular culture during the 1910s through 1930s, perhaps most famously in the 1939 film ‘Gone with the Wind.'” []

      You ask why is it only the United States is allowed to honor their dead with monuments. First of all, your assumption behind that question is false, making it a phony question. Secondly, the United States soldiers weren’t traitors and didn’t fight to maintain slavery. That’s why confederate monuments should not be at courthouses or on other public property.

      Only a true racist and idiot would claim the United States was the wrong side in the Civil War. Your ignorance about confederates is pretty astounding, since they kidnapped African Americans in Pennsylvania and Maryland to send into slavery and burned Chambersburg, PA and threatened to burn several other towns in Pennsylvania and in Maryland.

      Everytime you comment you show your ignorance.

      1. The Lying Liar · · Reply

        Yes there was a lawsuit, and Lee’s son sold it to the government – after they stole it. Give me an example of my supposed “racism”. You don’t mind then if we remove Union civil war monuments either? And if the Confederacy fought only to protect slavery (false) what were the 5 Union slave states fighting against? [edited]

        1. The property was seized for nonpayment of taxes. Try not paying your taxes and see what happens. The lawsuit was not due to Arlington being “stolen.” According to the law passed by Congress, taxes had to be paid in person by the owner of the property. Mrs. Lee had attempted to have an agent pay the taxes for her, and in accordance with that law it was refused. In United States v. Lee in 1882, the Supreme Court invalidated that requirement and so waived the requirement to pay the tax, meaning Custis Lee then owned title to the property. It was never stolen, your lie to the contrary notwithstanding.

          Claiming that the United States, which ended slavery, was on the wrong side, is racist. You can’t deny it.

          The confederacy’s only reason for wanting its independence was to protect slavery. If you say different, you’re a liar. There were four slave states that remained loyal. West Virginia was not admitted to the United States until it had provided for emancipation of its enslaved people in its constitution. There is no need for the loyal slave states to be fighting against slavery in order for the confederacy to be fighting for slavery. Only a moron thinks there is.

          Keep showing us how stupid you are.

          1. The Lying Liar · ·

            “There is no need for the loyal slave states to be fighting against slavery in order for the confederacy to be fighting for slavery. Only a moron thinks there is.

            Keep showing us how stupid you are.”

            Do you have any idea how rediculous your statement is? “Hi, I’m a loyal slave state fighting against slavery”.

            From Paul Craig Roberts:

            A “Civil War” Lesson for the Uneducated
            November 13, 2018 |
            A “Civil War” Lesson for the Uneducated

            Paul Craig Roberts

            In response to my short essay on November 9 ( ), a reader sent me a link to secession documents that implicated slavery, not the tariff, as the reason for Southern secession. It is typical for the uneducated to come across a document of which they have no understanding and to send it off with a rude “got you” note to one who does understand the document.

            I have explained the Southern states secession from the union in long essays. See:
   and and and .

            Once again:

            When the Southern states seceded, they were concerned to do so legally or constitutionally under the Constitution so that the North could not legally claim that it was an act of rebellion and invade the Southern states. To make this case, the South needed to make a case that the North had broken the Consltitutional contract and that the South was seceding because the North had not kept to the Constitution.

            This presented a legal challenge for the South, because the reason for which the Southern states were seceding was the tariff, but the Constitution gave the federal government the right to levy a tariff. Therefore, the Southern states could not cite the tariff as a breach of the Constitutional fabric.

            Slavery was the only issue that the South could use to make a legal case that it was not in rebellion. Article 4 of the US Constitution reads: “No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.” In defiance of Article 4, some Northern states had passed laws that nullified the Fugitive Slave Act and other laws that upheld this article of the Constitution. The South used these nullification laws to make its case that Northern states had broken the Constitutional contract, thus justifying the Southern states secession.

            Lincoln understood that he had no authority under the Constitution to abolish slavery. In his inaugural address he said: “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” The North had no intention of going to war over slavery. The same day that the Republican Congress passed the tariff, Congress passed the Corwin Amendment that added more constitutional protection to slavery.

            Lincoln said that the South could have all the slavery that it wanted as long as the Southern states paid the tariff. The North would not go to war over slavery, but it would to collect the tariff. Lincoln said that “there needs to be no bloodshed or violence” over collecting the tariff, but that he will use the government’s power “to collect the duties and imposts.” The tariff was important to the North, because it financed Northern industrialization at the economic expense of the South.”


          2. At least you’re consistent in showing your stupidity. You start off by showing you can’t even comprehend a simple English sentence. As I said, and you even quoted, “There is no need for the loyal slave states to be fighting against slavery in order for the confederacy to be fighting for slavery. Only a moron thinks there is.” You might want to get someone to read it to you very slowly and then tell you what it means. Here’s a hint. There were two sides in the Civil War. It’s not necessary for one side to be fighting against what the other side was fighting for in order for the two to be fighting. Because you’re an idiot, you think that in order for the confederacy to be fighting for slavery, then the United States necessarily would have to have been fighting against slavery from the beginning. There is no such requirement. The confederacy seceded and fought in order to protect slavery, as they said time and time again, over and over again. The United States, its loyal slave states included, in the first half of the war was fighting to preserve the Union. Destruction of slavery became a war measure in the second half of the war, and in the second half of the war we saw West Virginia only admitted after it had enacted emancipation, we saw Maryland enact abolition of slavery, and we saw Missouri enact abolition of slavery. We saw the United States Congress pass the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery throughout the nation. When the United States finally made ending slavery a war aim, it was finally fully attacking the reason for the war. Previously, it had attacked slavery on the fringes, freeing fugitive slaves, repealing the fugitive slave act, passing a law forbidding returning fugitive slaves, and emancipating slaves in the District of Columbia. With the Emancipation Proclamation the United States armies became armies of liberation, freeing slaves everywhere they marched, and that included those soldiers from the loyal slave states who recognized slavery had to be destroyed to end the rebellion.

            No wonder you have such ignorance if you get your history from polemicists instead of historians. I looked at those articles you linked, and they are filled with lies, half-truths, fabrications, and generally poor history. I assume the body of your post is a quote from Paul Craig Roberts, who has no clue about actual history. It’s laughable to see him try to claim the tariff had anything to do with the war. But you’re too ignorant and stupid to recognize what he writes is nonsense. Do you understand what he’s saying? No, you don’t. He’s saying the confederates, who all said they were acting to protect slavery, were all lying and instead the reason they were acting was because of something they never said they were acting against. You have to be really stupid to swallow that lunacy.

            Also, he’s openly racist. Here’s a direct quote from one of the articles you linked: “Non-white immigration will finish off the shards of remaining European civilization. All current demographics indicate that all of Europe and North America will sooner than you expect be occupied by non-white majorities.” I bet he has you shaking in your boots with that statement.

            Thanks for continuing to show a person has to be a real ignoramus and a racist to support the confederacy.

      2. The Lying Liar · · Reply

        [Plagiarized writing removed]

        1. Plagiarizing is an example of dishonesty. And in this case, since you plagiarized from the Abbeville Institute, a propaganda site with no credibility and full of lies, it shows poor judgment and amounts to a confession of your own ignorance.

          1. From Wikipedia:

            On December 9, 1882, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5–4 in Lee’s favor in United States v. Lee, deciding that Arlington had been confiscated without due process.[20][21] After that decision, Congress returned the estate to him, and on March 3, 1883, Custis Lee sold it back to the government for $150,000 (equal to $3,701,364 in 2023) at a signing ceremony with Secretary of War Robert Todd Lincoln.[19][22] The land then became a military reservation.[23]

            How about that. Same thing Abbeville said. Stolen.

          2. I like how you continue to show a person has to be stupid to support the confederacy. It wasn’t stolen, and the Supreme Court never claimed it was stolen. The property was taken in accordance with the law as passed on February 6, 1863, which applied to any property in what the law named as “Insurrectionary Districts.” What the Court ruled was that since the commissioners established the rule that they had to be paid by the owner in person, it did not allow for due process. The Court said that because the owner attempted to pay the taxes through an agent it was good enough to invalidate the sale of the property to the United States. The decision of the Court quoted the lower court’s instructions: “If the jury believe from the evidence that the commissioners, prior to January 11, 1864, established, announced, and uniformly followed a general rule under which they refused to receive on property which had been advertised for sale from anyone but the owner or a party in interest, in person, when offered, the amount chargeable upon said property by virtue of the said acts of Congress, then said rule dispensed with the necessity of a tender, and in the absence of proof to the contrary, the law presumes that said amount would have been paid, and the court instructs the jury that, upon such a state of facts, the sale of the property in controversy, made on the eleventh day of January, 1864, was unauthorized, and conferred no title on the purchaser.” [106 US 196, 200-201]

            The Court quoted its own decision from Hills v. Albany Exchange Bank: “It is a general rule that when the tender or performance of an act is necessary to the establishment of any right against another party, this tender or offer to perform is waived or becomes unnecessary when it is reasonably certain that the offer will be refused.” [106 US 196, 202]

            So the decision to reject the payment by an agent was consistently applied, but was applied in error, not in stealing the land.

            The Wikipedia quote you provided does not say the same thing as what the Abbeville liars wrote. The fact that you think it does says more about you than anything else.

          3. The Lying Liar · ·

            Once again, from Wikipedia:

            Custis Lee, heir under his grandfather’s will passing the estate in trust to his mother, sued the United States in 1874 claiming ownership of Arlington. On December 9, 1882, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5–4 in Lee’s favor in United States v. Lee, deciding that Arlington had been confiscated without due process.[20][21] After that decision, Congress returned the estate to him, and on March 3, 1883, Custis Lee sold it back to the government for $150,000 (equal to $3,701,364 in 2023) at a signing ceremony with Secretary of War Robert Todd Lincoln.[19][22]”
            Key words: “confiscated without due process” ie: stolen. Al. Al, Al. Custis Lee sold the propery back to the government because there were now thousands of graves in the yard. Now about this monument that has every right to there. It was conceived in the spirit of reconciliation by President McKinley.

            From Charston Athenaeum Press:

            “Arlington National Cemetery, 109 year old Confederate Memorial to the Reconciliation and Reunification of our great nation after our bloodiest war. It was the brainchild of Union soldier and president, William McKinley, who said “every soldier’s grave made during our unfortunate civil war is a tribute to American valor.” The sculptor, internationally renowned Jewish artist Moses Jacob Ezekiel, was a VMI Confederate soldier. Art critic Michael Robert Patterson states that “no sculptor, as far as known, has ever, in any one memorial told as much history as has Ezekiel in his monument at Arlington; and every human figure in it, as well as every symbol, is in and of itself a work of art.”


          4. Once again, your lack of understanding is manifest. When an action is done according to law in good faith, it is not stealing, even if the system set up by the law is later ruled invalid by the Courts. The evidence indicates the commissioners followed their procedure uniformly in all cases, not just against Arlington. In the two Wikipedia excerpts you posted there is nothing that claims Arlington was stolen. It’s only in your deluded brain and in the delusions of the propagandists instead of historians that you stupidly follow.

            I provided an authoritative quote from Arlington National Cemetery about the monument. You give a propagandist and a neoconfederate site with no credibility whatsoever. Of course, since your IQ is less than the current air temperature you don’t understand what a credible source would be.

          5. The Lying Liar · ·

            Paul Craig Roberts received a doctorate from the University of Virginia where he studied under G. Warren Nutter. He worked as an analyst and adviser at the United States Congress where he was credited as the primary author of the original draft of the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981. He was the United States Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy under President Ronald Reagan and – after leaving government – held the William E. Simon chair in economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies for ten years and served on several corporate boards. A former associate editor at The Wall Street Journal, his articles have also appeared in The New York Times and Harper’s, and he is the author of more than a dozen books and a number of peer-reviewed papers.(Wikipedia) [Edited]

          6. He has a Ph.D. in Economics, not History, you moron. If he’s opining about economics, perhaps he has credibility. Using him to support a claim about history is a classic example of the appeal to authority fallacy. Of course, it it weren’t for fallacious thinking, you wouldn’t be thinking at all. He’s a propagandist.

          7. The Lying Liar · ·

            You don’t need to be a history major to understand history. [Edited]

          8. You’re the one who brought up his degree, conveniently leaving out what it was in, as part of his qualification for being credible. It was your attempt at being deceitful. The fact remains nothing he wrote in those articles has any credibility whatsoever, unless, of course, one is a total idiot and completely ignorant of Civil War history. Then I could see why one would think he was credible. But do continue to show how one has to be a liar, fraud, and an idiot to be a neoconfederate.

  2. […] Mackey’s regular column on modern day Confederates talks about an effort to defund The University of Richmond after it changed the name of its law […]

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