State Watch

Confederate statue in Alexandria removed a month early

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The United Daughters of the Confederacy have removed a Confederate monument a month early from an intersection in Alexandria, Va., Mayor Justin Wilson (D) said Tuesday.

Wilson said the group made the decision to remove the statue, “Appomattox,” ahead of schedule in light of several cases of segregation-era Confederate monuments being defaced in protests around the country, The Washington Post reported.

The statue was erected decades after the end of the Civil War in Alexandria’s Old Town neighborhood.

The city has sought to remove the statue from public land for years, but it remained protected by state law. In April, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed a law allowing individual localities to move or remove Confederate monuments starting in July.

“I’m one of several electeds who have asked, ‘why do we need to keep this up?’ ” City Council member John Taylor Chapman said. “Our community has changed. My first thought is of all the folks who tried for years to take it down to no avail. This change did not happen without change in the [General Assembly]. We as a community can get things done if we are persistent.”

“We’ve tried really hard in the past few years to tell both sides, with the acquisition of the Freedom House, the Black History Museum, the Edmondson Sisters statue and others,” Wilson told the Post, referring to a monument to two African American women who campaigned for the abolition of slavery after they were freed.

“For a portion of our population, this statue was a symbol of an entire subjugation of a people. We still have a lot of work to do to ensure all of Alexandria’s history is told,” Wilson added.

Tags alexandria Confederate statues Justin Wilson The Washington Post Virginia

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