Story at a glance
- On Friday, Alabama’s Madison County decided to remove a statue of a Confederate soldier from a public site.
- The soldier is expected to be relocated to a nearby cemetery.
A 115-year old Confederate monument has been taken down from its Alabama post following protests calling for its removal.
The statue of a Confederate soldier was previously installed at the front of the Madison County Courthouse in Huntsville, Ala., until crews removed it from the stone memorial on Friday. The Associated Press reports that as the removal occurred, a group of onlookers cheered.
Confederate monument being removed in Huntsville just after midnight. pic.twitter.com/fXwcXOih1b— Paul Gattis (@paul_gattis) October 23, 2020
“I’m speechless, literally speechless. It’s an amazing time for our culture and for people of all colors. I’m excited that I’m able to watch this event happen during this time,” said resident Joretha Wright.
Madison County Commissioner JesHenry Malone made a statement, saying the county finally decided to take the memorial down after a state commission responsible for protecting historical monuments did not respond “in a timely way” to the county commission’s request to remove the figure.
“The staff of the Madison County Commission executed the plan outlined in my June 2020 resolution for the legal removal of the Confederate Monument,” he said.
The Confederate soldier has stood in front of the courthouse since 1905 and was installed there by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, a historical society for women with southern ancestry.
Across the U.S., multiple statues of historical figures associated with the enslavement or suppression of different racial groups, including Confederate General Stonewall Jackson and explorer Christopher Columbus, have been removed in the aftermath of the police slaying of George Floyd.
At one point in July, data found that the majority of Americans supported the removal of Confederate monuments.
Some communities have rejected the calls to remove iconography recalling times of steep racial division. This past summer, Lafayette County in Mississippi voted to keep a Confederate monument standing.