Wednesday, February 24, 2021

More than 160 Confederate symbols removed or renamed after racial justice protests, more than in previous 4 years

"More than 160 Confederate symbols were removed from public spaces or renamed last year after the death of George Floyd, more than in the previous four years combined, a watchdog group said on Tuesday," Neil Vigdor and Daniel Victor report for The New York Times. "The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has campaigned for the removal of Confederate statues and monuments, released the findings as part of a report on the status of the symbols."

Widespread racial-justice protests spurred a renewed push to remove Confederate statues from public spaces, redesign flags that incorporated the Confederate battle flag, ban its display, and rename schools or other public buildings named after Confederate figures.

That push stalled in many rural areas of the South due to local sentiment and state historic-preservation laws that make it difficult. But Virginia, which had the highest share of remaining Confederate statues last summer, "led the way in the number of symbols that were removed last year with 71, followed by North Carolina with 24 and then Alabama and Texas with 12 each, the report said," Vigdor and Victor report.

"Still, many remain standing. An NPR investigation found that while some 60 Confederate monuments came down across the U.S. between May and October, localities moved to protect 28 of them during that same period, from Delaware to Florida to Arizona," Rachel Treisman reports for NPR.

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