NEW ORLEANS — More than 100 Confederate symbols have been removed since the deadly, racially motivated 2015 attack at a “Mother Emanuel” church in Charleston, South Carolina, including four controversial Confederate monuments in New Orleans.
That’s according to newly released data from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which began tracking the removal of Confederate monuments and the renaming of schools and streets in 2016.
According to the SPLC, there are 1,728 Confederate symbols still standing in the United States, many protected by state laws in states that once belonged to the Confederacy.
New Orleans was one of the first cities to tackle the monuments controversy in 2015, just a few months after the South Carolina legislature voted to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the State House and the city of Memphis decided to take down a statue of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest.
In December 2015, the New Orleans City Council voted to remove four prominent monuments — the Battle of Liberty Place near the Aquarium, the Jefferson Davis monument at Canal and Jeff Davis, the P.G.T. Beauregard statue outside of City Park, and the Robert E. Lee monument at Lee Circle.
The council’s decision prompted public outcry from people who wanted the monuments to remain in place, as well as multiple challenges in court.
The monuments came down in April and May of 2017 and quickly became a large part of former Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s legacy. He published a book in March 2018 near the end of his final term in office called “In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History.”
According to a map provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center, almost 50 Confederate symbols remain in place in Louisiana. These include monuments, public schools or parishes named for Confederate icons, and other symbols of the Confederacy.
Read the full report here.
Watch former Mayor Landrieu’s speech in May 2017 following the removal of the fourth Confederate monument in New Orleans: