Fate of the Confederate Plaque Removed from the Capitol Debated

Now that, after a years-long battle the infamous ‘Children of the Confederacy Creed’ has been removed from the rotunda of the Texas Capitol, what should its next stop be?

State Rep. Eric Johnson (D-Dallas), who led the battle to remove the plaque, says it should not be demolished,  but instead put into a museum where it can be given context.

“It was a response to the growing Civil Rights movement and a response to the dominance of the ‘powers that be’ in the South,” Johnnson said.

The plaque, which was erected in 1959, amazingly states that the Civil War ‘was not a rebellion’ and that slavery was ‘not the reason for the Civil War,’ two historically incorrect claims.

The plaque was ordered removed earlier this month after several years of debate, during which questions were asked about who had the ‘right’ to remove it, and whether the full Legislature would have to vote on its removal.

Johnson says Texans should fully understand why the plaque and other familiar Civil War monuments were being put up in the 1950s.

“Why was there a spike in memorials and monuments to the Civil War in the late fifties, long after the war was over.”

One possible location for the plaque may be the Briscoe Center for American History on the campus of the University of Texas.  It is home to the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, which was removed in 2017 from the main mall at the University.  It is the centerpiece of an exhibition called ‘From Commemoration to Education’ which seeks to explore the installation of monuments to the Confederacy in the early and mid 20th Century, as part of an attempt to ‘retell’ the story of the old Confederacy in what has been called the ‘Lost Cause’ or the ‘Midnight and Magnolias’ tradition, which downplayed the history and cruelty of slavery.

IMAGE: GETTY

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