Council votes to take down Confederate war memorial near Dallas City Hall

The Dallas City Council on Wednesday voted to remove a Confederate memorial near city hall.

The council in a 11-4 vote approved the removal of the structure deemed a “non-contributing structure for the historic overlay district,” The Dallas Morning News reported.

“We have to acknowledge the sins of the past, and what kind of Dallas do we want going forward,” Mayor Pro Tempore Casey Thomas said. “Today is not unfinished business. It’s finishing the business that we started.”

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The council proposed a $480,000 plan to remove and store the massive monument, which currently rests in the Pioneer Cemetery across from the Dallas City Hall.

The monument features a 65-foot obelisk topped with a Confederate soldier, and statues of Confederate leaders — including Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson — form a ring around it.

The structure was originally built in Old City Park in 1897 by the Dallas chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and was moved to the cemetery in 1961.

It is the second monument to be removed in the city in recent years. The Dallas City Council voted in 2017 to remove a statue of Lee.

Officials in Austin, Texas, last month removed a Confederate plaque from the state Capitol that claimed slavery was not the root cause of the Civil War. 

The effort to remove Confederate monuments saw renewed attention following the 2015 mass shooting at an historic African-American church in Charleston, S.C., and the deadly 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

At least 113 Confederate monuments have been removed in the U.S. since 2015, according to a 2016 report from the Southern Poverty Law Center.