Another Confederate monument in our country came down this past week as city government in St. Louis made the push for its removal.
The Confederate Memorial, which had been previously vandalized with graffiti noting “Black Lives Matter” and the phrase “End Racism,” was removed from Forest Park after it was dedicated 103 years earlier.
The 32’ tall granite column featured a bronze scene of a Confederate youth being sent off to war. Its inscription read “erected in memory of the soldiers and sailors of the Confederate states by the United Daughters of the Confederacy of Saint Louis.”
The removal of the 40-ton structure was paid for by the Missouri Civil War Museum. Plans include moving it outside of the city limits to find a new resting place at a museum, a battlefield, or a cemetery.
This continues a trend of similar Confederate tributes being removed all over the country.
Many folks point back to a 2015 murder of nine African-Americans by a white supremacist at a South Carolina church as a start of a national debate regarding symbols of racism.
Similar monuments have also been removed in New Orleans, La. and Brandenburg, Ky.
My personal thoughts on this trend are conflicted.
I’m still appalled at the actions of the south and its pro-slavery stance during the Civil War.
I’m glad the Union won and thankful for the needed changes made in our country around 150 years ago.
At the same time, these monuments offer a snapshot of our nation’s history, whether it’s a history we agree with or not.
My concern is where does this trend stop?
Are we going to remove the actual chair General Robert E. Lee sat on at the Appomattox Courthouse from the National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. because he once sat there?
Is Gettysburg, Pa. going to have to remove all Confederate statues at the site of the bloodiest battle in U.S. History?
While it’s not a part of history we should be overly proud of, at some point we probably should recognize many of the Confederate monuments as historical artifacts recognizing our past, whether good or bad.
As for the Confederate flag, that is another controversial issue.
I’ve seen many area residents who are still flying these flags.
While many folks may be flying them as a tribute to their southern heritage, I also think the negatives of proudly flying the flag outweigh the positives.
Flying the flag makes it appear the owner of the flag endorses racism directly, slavery, or the racial hate so closely tied to the flag during the Civil Rights movement.
Many people today still act as if the flag has nothing to do with the Civil Rights movement. Unfortunately, it’s tied directly to it.
Why do you think so many of the south’s courthouses displayed the flag for so many years?
It was mostly due to where their politicians of the past stood on the slavery issue and mistreatment of blacks.
So what do you think about folks choosing to fly Confederate flags?
Take our online pole, which asks “Do you think residents should still willingly fly Confederate flags?”
As for the historical monuments, I do hope many of these can be preserved either at their current location or at some sort of other historical setting as they are a part of history. This being whether it’s a history appreciated or not.