Story at a glance
- Seventy-three confederate monuments were removed or renamed in 2021, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
- There are 723 monuments remaining across U.S. states and territories.
- The center’s findings were published in its third edition of “Whose Heritage,” which documents Confederate symbols.
Seventy-three Confederate monuments were removed or renamed in 2021, leaving 723 remaining, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
“Memorials are most often removed in the wake of a tragedy, as we saw after the Charleston Church massacre in 2015; after Heather Heyer’s death at the Unite the Right Rally in 2017; and after George Floyd’s murder in 2020,” SPLC Chief of Staff Lecia Brooks said in a statement.
“But in 2021, Americans continued pushing for change and succeeded by removing a record 73 memorials from public spaces,” Brooks continued. “This is the most symbols affected without a tragedy occurring since SPLC started tracking in 2015 and the second highest number of removals in one year since we began tracking.”
The center’s findings were published in its third edition of “Whose Heritage,” which documents Confederate symbols. Yet the monuments, which reside in U.S. states and territories, do not include 741 roadways, 201 schools, 51 buildings, 38 parks and 22 holidays, according to the report.
The death of George Floyd at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020 inspired a nationwide racial reckoning, which has led to the removal of Confederate symbols across the country.
Floyd’s death has led to the “removal, relocation, or renaming” of at least 200 memorials, according to the center.
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In September, a towering 130-year-old statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee was removed from Richmond, Va., after a year of legal delays.
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