The killing of George Floyd has sparked a resurgence in the removal of Confederate monuments to prominent slave-owning Democrats throughout US history.
In recent weeks, Virginia, Florida and Texas top the states which have removed the most Confederate symbols, according to an analysis by BeenVerified.
For every monument which has been removed, approximately 10 remain according to the study. Meanwhile, West Virginia, South Carolina and Mississippi are the top three states in which the least Confederate monuments have been removed.
Top takeaways via BeenVerified:
- States that have the largest percentage of remaining symbols: West Virginia (100%), South Carolina (99%), Mississippi (99%) and Arkansas (96%), followed by Georgia, North Carolina and Alabama (95% each).
- Maryland and California have the top percentage of removals: Out of states that had at least 10 Confederate symbols, Maryland has removed 70%, followed by California (50%), Florida and Oklahoma (22% each), Missouri and the District of Columbia (17% each).
- States with the most remaining symbols: Virginia (244), Texas (207), Georgia (199), South Carolina (194), North Carolina (169), Mississippi (147), Alabama (125), Tennessee (99), Louisiana (84) and Florida (67).
- For every removal, 10 monuments and symbols remain: In total, states have removed 172 Confederate symbols over the years; but 1,712 still remain, our analysis shows.
- Most removed since 2013: States that have removed the most monuments and symbols since 2013 are: Texas (39), Virginia (30), Florida (17), Tennessee (10) and Georgia (7).
- Most removed in wake of George Floyd protests: Virginia (12), Texas and Florida (5 each) Alabama (4), Georgia and Kentucky (2). (Some planned removals in Virginia, however, are being challenged in court.)
- Not just located in the South: While the greatest concentration of symbols remain in former Confederate states and Border States, many exist in Northern states and new states formed after the Civil War, including: California and Ohio (5 each), New York and Pennsylvania (3 each); Washington, Idaho and Montana (2 each).
- Who they honor: Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson are the top Confederates with statues, roads and schools in their name; Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Confederate general who was the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, has the sixth most number of monuments.
There are still 1,712 Confederate monuments and symbols in public which remain - which include statues, school names, roads, military bases, buildings, parks, monuments and other public designations honoring Democratic heroes.
BeenVerified also analyzed Confederate symbol removal by year, with senior data analyst Brian Ross noting "The Confederate symbol removal gained traction after the 2015 Charleston, South Carolina, church shootings, which ignited a nationwide debate on these symbols and their prominence in public spaces," adding "But after peaking in 2017, the trend has been on a decline—until the death of George Floyd."
The overwhelming majority of Confederate symbols across the country are dedicated to Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson.
Will Rick Wilson's cooler be next?