According to a memo sent by Alexandria City Manager Mark Jinks to the Mayor and City Council, Alexandria has been conducting an extensive inventory of all things associated with the Confederacy in Alexandria, Virgina. The list includes Confederate street names, such as the Jefferson Davis Highway, Confederate memorials and Confederate symbols.
Confederate symbols nationwide are being discussed for removal following the recent mass shooting of members of The Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church in Charleston, South Carolina.
The University of Texas removed the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis on August 30, 2015. The Sons of Confederate Veterans sued the university in an effort to prevent the removal of the statute but the court denied their petition.
The Confederacy issues in Alexandria will be discussed before Council in September. According to City Manager Jinks’ memo, the Confederacy issues will be a docket item on Council’s first legislative meeting on September 8, 2015. The docket item would then be subject to public hearing and action on September 12, 2015.
Also, according to City Manager Jinks’ memo, the issues likely to be discussed are:
- The Flying of Confederate Flags
- Jefferson Davis Highway Name
- Appomattox Statue at Prince and South Washington
- More than 60 purported Confederate Street Names.
- Marshall House plaque at the 400 Block of King Street
- Robert E. Lee’s Portrait in Council Chambers
- Name of Maury Elementary School
- Name of the Lee Center
Should we remove landmarks because it offends certain people regardless of historical significance? Should we remove historical items and names from our City because they are offensive to most and it would be clearly the right thing to do? Or, just leave history as it is – history?
When the confederacy issues started popping up across the country and in Old Town, Old Town Post (OTP) wrote an article about the possible removal of the Appomattox statue, renaming the JD Highway and ceasing flying the Confederate flag. Apparently, the discussion of removing confederate history in Alexandria has extended way beyond statues and flags.
Let your voice be heard by contacting the Mayor and City Council at the following link: Alexandria City Council. The public is also always invited to open docket meetings where citizens have the chance to speak. To keep updated on the docket agenda and times and dates you may click on the following link: Alexandria City Council Docket