GEORGETOWN, Del. — This week, the work of local activists paid off after the Georgetown Historical Society doubled down on its commitment to continue flying a Confederate battle flag on the nonprofit’s property.
The following statement is from SPLC Chief of Staff and Culture Lecia Brooks:
“The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) applauds the Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice (SDARJ) for their community-centered, fact-based advocacy. Their work is to halt public funding to the Georgetown Historical Society, which made a deal with the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) in 2007 to host a memorial to Delawareans who enlisted in the Confederate Army, which flies the Confederate Flag on the nonprofit’s property. SDARJ’s principled position is to ensure that Delaware’s taxpayer dollars will not be used to fund white supremacist ideals.
“Make no mistake – the Confederate flag is a living symbol of white supremacy. Using the Marvel Carriage Museum as a backdrop indicates a harmful disregard of historical facts by an organization that is supposed to preserve history. Delaware was a Union state; about 20% of its total male population fought for the United States. Maybe as few as 300 turned their backs on their country.
“And working with a Neo-Confederate heritage group like SCV to prominently display a memorial and flag symbolic of white supremacy on museum property further reveals their support of the ‘Lost Cause’ mythology. This attempt to bend history to their liking demonstrates a blatant disrespect to museum patrons and community members alike.
“The Lost Cause narrative is not up for debate. Historical facts prove that the Civil War was fought to maintain the inhumane institution of enslavement, with over 750,000 American lives lost in the wake of the Confederacy’s treasonous acts.
“Museums and historical societies should not be in the business of promoting revisionist history. We depend on such institutions to tell the truth about our shared American experiences, not use their space to celebrate pro-slavery traitors. The Georgetown Historical Society’s unapologetic stance to keep this flag waving is unacceptable and underscores why the No Federal Funding for Confederate Symbols Act is necessary.
“We join concerned Delawareans in calling on the Georgetown Historical Society to get on the right side of history by immediately removing this racist display and agree that no public funding should be provided for its support.”
In February 2022 the SPLC released the third edition of its Whose Heritage? report, data, and map, which tracks public symbols of the Confederacy across the United States. The report shows that more than 2,000 Confederate memorials are still publicly present in the U.S. and over 700 of those are monuments.