Support Local Journalism, Join the SA Current Press Club.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Rep. Straus Wants the Misleading Confederate Memorial in State Capitol Gone

Posted By on Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 2:03 PM

click to enlarge JOHN JORDAN / THE TEXAS TRIBUNE
  • John Jordan / The Texas Tribune
In the month since white supremacist protesters clogged Charlottesville streets, leaving one woman dead and dozens injured, cities across Texas have retired a a remarkable number of statues memorializing Confederate soldiers. In Dallas Thursday, city contractors took down a statue of Robert E. Lee atop a horse. In Austin, University of Texas okay-ed the removal of three statues on campus, depicting men with strong ties to the Confederacy. And, of course, in San Antonio, the city voted 10-1 to remove Travis Park's looming Confederate soldier.

Now, the contentious debate over removing such memorials is headed to the state Capitol building, which is home to a bronze plaque glorifying the Confederate army. Like most Confederate monuments, the plaque was installed in the midst of the U.S. civil rights movement, in 1959. Titled "Children of the Confederate Creed," the memorial's sentiments echo the arguments raised in the past month by protesters who've defended the Confederate legacy.



“We, therefore, pledge ourselves to preserve pure ideals, to honor our veterans, to study and teach the truths of history (one of the most important of which is that the war between the States was not a rebellion, nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery) and to always act in a manner that will reflect honor upon our noble and patriotic ancestors," it reads.

House Speaker Joe Straus, a Republican representative from San Antonio, says this plaque only perpetuates false narratives about the Confederate War.

"Texans are not well-served by incorrect information about our history,” Straus wrote Tuesday in a letter to the Texas State Preservation Board, the organization in charge of the Capitol property. “Texans should expect to see an accurate depiction of history when they visit their state Capitol.”

Straus urged the board (which he sits on) to remove the plaque "so soon as practicable."

This could be a challenging request, because Gov. Greg "tearing down monuments won't erase our country's past" Abbott joins Straus on the board. However, Abbott may be warming to the idea. The call to remove this plaque initially came from Dallas Rep. Eric Johnson on August 16, four days after the Charlottesville protest. And according to Johnson, Abbott has agreed to meet with him to discuss the memorial's future. Putting Straus' muscle behind the call may help expedite that meeting.

“We have an obligation to all the people we serve to ensure that our history is described correctly, especially when it comes to a subject as painful as slavery,” wrote Straus.



Tags: , , , , , , ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 14, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Join SA Current Newsletters

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2021 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation