As Confederate Monuments Tumble, Die-Hards Are Erecting ReplacementsBreaking News
tags: memorials, Confederacy, monuments, public history
Crews removed the statue of Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson from Monument Avenue in Richmond on July 1. (Reuters)
The teardowns get all the attention, Walter “Donnie” Kennedy grumbles.
Every time a local government votes to remove a century-old Confederate war monument, every time activists swing ropes around statues and yank them to the ground, “our enemies claim victory again,” said Kennedy, the chief of heritage operations for the Sons of Confederate Veterans. “We know America doesn’t agree with us — heck, they fought a war against us — but we’re going to tell our story.”
Their membership might be dwindling, and their popular support seems to shrink by the day, but the guardians of America’s 700-plus Confederate monuments are mounting a serious defense — filing lawsuits and demanding control of statues slated for removal.
They, too, are launching a concerted offensive.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans and, in a quieter way, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the group that erected many of the monuments that are now the target of the biggest removal campaign in history, are pushing back by building new statues, buying land to house torn-down memorials, and airing radio and online ads seeking public support for their cause.
Across the South, more than 20 new monuments, ranging from small plaques to massive Confederate battle flags placed near major interstate highways for maximum visibility, have been installed on private property in the past few years, said Larry McCluney Jr., commander in chief of the Sons group.
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