Councilman Alan Warrick asked Mayor Ivy Taylor today to appoint a task force to “review and inventory” all the Confederate flags and monuments in public places in San Antonio.
“I do not believe the vast majority of residents who support Confederate flags or monuments have hate in their hearts. The fact that some of these symbols are utilized by hate groups to harass and intimidate should be enough to give us pause,” Warrick said in a news release.
Warrick’s memo does not call for the removal of Confederate flags or monuments.
Warrick pointed to the Confederate Civil War Monument in Travis Park as an example of San Antonio’s Confederate legacy. Erected in 1899, the monument attracted some controversy at the time. The San Antonio Light
wrote in 1898 that the “monuments erected today will be the scoff of a later generation,” according to the Office of Historic Preservation.
Debate over the Confederate flag has intensified in the wake of a shooting spree in Charleston, South Carolina last month. Dylann Roof, 21, allegedly shot and killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. After the shooting, pictures of Roof posing with the Confederate flag emerged.
That sparked a renewed wave of opposition for the flag. Many national retailers no longer sell the Confederate flag, nor does San Antonio-based Dixie Flag Manufacturing Company.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday to prevent the flag’s display on federal lands. Lawmakers in South Carolina are now voting whether to remove the flag from the State House.
“It often takes an unspeakable tragedy to perpetuate changes in policy and customs of society,” Warrick said. “We are currently seeing this unfold in communities and states across the nation.”