A total of 78 symbols remain
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) released new data updating the number of Confederate symbols associated with the military as part of its Whose Heritage? report, which tracks symbols of the Confederacy across the United States.
After learning that nine Black people were killed during a Bible study at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C. by a gunman that was radicalized by white supremacist websites, the SPLC began to catalogue all of the Confederate symbols in public spaces across the country. In collecting this data, the SPLC recently found 64 additional Confederate symbols associated with the military.
The majority of these additional 64 Confederate memorials are located at service academies, such as Annapolis and West Point, and military colleges like The Citadel and Virginia Military Institute (VMI).
- Annapolis has 3 live memorials.
- West Point has 5 live memorials.
- The Citadel has 20 live memorials.
- VMI has 28 live memorials.
The 1910s and the 1960s saw the biggest spike in the dedication of Confederate memorials associated with the military, corroborating evidence that these memorials went up as part of an organized propaganda campaign in response to Reconstruction and the Civil Rights movement.
Only five Confederate memorials associated with the military have been removed or renamed since 2018.
View a complete list of the memorials associated with the military here.
To learn about the history of Confederate symbols in the military, visit SPLC’s Hatewatch blog.
The following statement is from SPLC Chief of Staff Lecia Brooks:
“Symbols of white supremacy should never have been associated with the military because they glorify a system of racial oppression and exclusion. As I testified during a Congressional hearing earlier this year, there is no reason to wait three years to rename the Army’s 10 bases, nor the military’s numerous ships, roads, buildings, and memorials named after Confederate leaders. The time to act is now.
“The presence of these dehumanizing and oppressive displays and symbols is directly linked to white supremacist activity in the military. We’ve seen encouraging progress made, such as the National Defense Authorization Act’s mandate to remove Confederate names from Department-owned property within three years and the Marine Corps’ decision to remove any and all symbols of the Confederacy from their public and work spaces. But until a more inclusive military is established, this country cannot honestly work towards a more equitable American landscape.”