confederate monuments

Teaching Confederate history in a changing world

Dec 23, 2020
APR's Pat Duggins

Movements like Black Lives Matter have changed the way many in Alabama look at Southern history. While some Confederate monuments have been taken down, others have been moved to new locations where they are again on display. 

The Confederate Rest Cemetery in Point Clear is a quiet place. Headstones, new and old, mark 19th century graves. Richard Sheely points out, however, that this was not always such as peaceful location. More than 350 soldiers were hastily buried here when the nearby Grand Hotel was used as a Civil War military hospital.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is challenging the removal of a Confederate statue from the Madison County courthouse. 

The lawsuit, issued Friday, argues that the decision to move the statue honoring Confederate soldiers to a Huntsville cemetary violated the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act, passed in 2017. The law was made to protect Confederate monuments. 

Marshall County Courthouse


ALBERTVILLE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama county plans to spend $3,500 building a fence to protect a Confederate monument outside the courthouse. 

The stone marker and accompanying rebel flag outside the Marshall County Courthouse have been the scene of repeated protests during national demonstrations against the police killing of George Floyd.


FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama city has taken a step to remove a Confederate monument following weeks of pressure. 

The Florence City Council voted Tuesday to ask the state for permission to move the memorial from outside the Lauderdale County Courthouse. A state waiver is required because of a law that imposes a $25,000 fine for disturbing such memorials.


MONTEVALLO, Ala. (AP) — A state university in Alabama is renaming two buildings that honor former governors who supported white supremacy. 

News outlets report that trustees from the University of Montevallo voted Tuesday to strip the names of Braxton Bragg Comer and Bibb Graves off academic buildings on campus. Both men served in the early part of the 1900s.


ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama city has removed a 115-year-old Confederate monument following a vote by city leaders. 

Workers with the city of Anniston removed the stone obelisk from the grassy median of a busy avenue late Sunday. The City Council voted earlier this month to take down the monument to Confederate artillery officer John Pelham. The memorial was erected in 1905. Leaders say it will be taken to a Confederate history park.


ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama city has voted to remove a Confederate monument from its downtown and relocate it to a park that houses a different Confederate memorial. 

News outlets report the Anniston City Council voted Tuesday to relocate the obelisk honoring John Pelham, a Confederate military officer born in Calhoun County. Anniston’s mayor asked the council in June to consider its removal.


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A Confederate monument in Alabama that's been the subject of protests has been vandalized. 

News outlets report that what appears to be red paint was splattered all over the base of the rebel statue outside the Madison County Courthouse in Huntsville early Wednesday. Sheriff's officials say they're investigating.

Confederate flag Talladega
Associated Press


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The Confederate battle flag is losing its place of official prominence in the South 155 years after the end of the Civil War. 

Mississippi’s Republican-controlled Legislature voted Sunday to remove the Confederate emblem from the state flag. Other states took action previously. NASCAR, meanwhile, has banned the rebel banner from its car races.

Mobile Confederate Monument
Associated Press


MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — The mayor of Mobile, Alabama, says a Confederate statue removed from the city earlier this month has been relocated to a museum. 

Mayor Stimpson said on Twitter the History Museum of Mobile has received the bronze figure of Admiral Raphael Semmes, and will display the statue while placing it into its appropriate context.

Tuskegee Confederate Monument
Associated Press


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (AP) — Officials in a majority black county say they hope to permanently remove a now-covered Confederate memorial erected more than a century ago in the town square. 

Macon County Commission Chairman Louis Maxwell said at a news conference Friday that officials are researching ways to move the statue that sits in the town square of Tuskegee. Crews covered up the base of the statue after it was vandalized with anti-Ku Klux Klan graffiti last week.


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — The University of Alabama has authorized moving three Confederate plaques and studying building names with an eye toward possible change. 

A news release says the plaques will be moved from the main library to what the school says will be “a more appropriate historical setting.”  The statement did not say whether officials have decided where to move the plaques.

Mobile Confederate Monument
Associated Press


MOBILE, Ala. (The Birmingham News) — Alabama's port city has removed a bronze statue of a Confederate naval officer after days of protests over the police killing of George Floyd. 

Mayor Sandy Stimpson sent a string of messages on Twitter saying he ordered the removal of the likeness of Admiral Raphael Semmes. He says the decision to take down the statue is intended to remove a “potential distraction” to focusing on the city's future.

As difficult conversations become ever more important, Alabama Public Radio is proud to present The Forum. This four part series allows college students to come together to discuss the difficult topics they care most about.

Today's episode is about Confederate Monuments. Watch below:

Linn Park Confederate monument
Associated Press


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Confederate monuments are once again coming down in the South. 

Relics of the Old South have been removed from public display in at least three states amid continuing protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. In Alabama, crews working overnight took down a huge stone monument in a park in downtown Birmingham. 


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama congresswoman says it's time to end a state holiday celebrating the president of the Confederacy. 

Rep. Terri Sewell's comments came Monday on the state holiday honoring Jefferson Davis. And they come amid protests in Alabama and elsewhere over the death of an African American man at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

Alabama A&M
Alabama A&M on Facebook

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF-TV) — Alumni from an Alabama university have been calling on the state to stop the demolishing of old campus buildings by enforcing a law designed to protect Confederate statues. 

WAFF-TV reports Alabama A&M University alumni have asked the state's Attorney General to stop the university’s plans to destroy several historical campus buildings to make space for new facilities including a $50 million event center. Two buildings have already been destroyed while four remain to be demolished.

The mayor of Birmingham criticized a state law that forbids the majority-black city from removing, or obscuring, a Confederate monument in a city park.  

Birmingham faces a $25,000 fine for erecting a wooden box obscuring the inscriptions on a 52-foot-tall obelisk honoring Confederate veterans. 

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin called the statue a slap in the face to black residents.  

Senators on Tuesday delayed a vote on a bill that would raise penalties to $10,000-a-day. 

Birmingham faces a $25,000 fine for obstructing the view of a Confederate monument.

Circuit Judge Marshell Jackson Hatcher last week imposed the $25,000 fine that had been ordered by the state's high court.  

Justices in November ruled that Birmingham violated a state law protecting historic monuments. Justices directed the circuit judge to fine the city $25,000.

Alabama sued Birmingham in 2017 after municipal officials erected a wooden box obscuring the inscriptions on a 52-foot-tall (16-meter-tall) obelisk honoring Confederate veterans. 

The Alabama Supreme Court won't reconsider a ruling that prohibits Birmingham from obscuring, or taking down, a Confederate monument in a city park.

Justices on Friday turned down a rehearing request without comment.  

The court in November ruled that Birmingham violated a state law protecting Confederate monuments when it put plywood panels in front of a towering obelisk in a downtown park.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Supreme Court has upheld a state law barring cities from moving or altering Confederate monuments.

Justices on Wednesday reversed a circuit judge’s ruling that declared the law unenforceable because it violates the free speech rights of local communities.

The 2017 law prohibits removing and altering memorials that have been standing for more than 40 years. The legislation was enacted as some Southern states and cities began removing Confederate monuments and emblems.

An Alabama law that prohibits cities from removing Confederate monuments will remain in effect while the state appeals a judge's ruling that declared the statute constitutional, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled Friday.  

Justices granted the request of Attorney General Steve Marshall to stay a judge's order striking down the law, Marshall's office announced.

"The Supreme Court's stay allows the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act to remain in effect until the Supreme Court resolves this appeal over the act's constitutionality," Marshall said in a statement.

A judge has overturned an Alabama state law preventing the removal of Confederate monuments from public property.

A ruling issued yesterday by Jefferson County Circuit Judge Michael Graffeo says a 2017 state law barring the removal or alteration of historical monuments violates the free speech rights of local communities.

Graffeo says the law cannot be enforced, but the state of Alabama could still appeal. Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office had no immediate response to an Associated Press email seeking comment.

The city of Birmingham says it did not violate state law when it put up a plywood box around a 52-foot-tall Confederate monument in a city park.

In a court filing yesterday, the city disputed the state of Alabama’s claims that Birmingham violated a law prohibiting the removal or alteration of any monuments more than 40 years old.

Next Birmingham Mayor May Inherit Confederate Monument Fight

Oct 9, 2017

Birmingham’s next mayor may have a fight on his hands immediately upon taking office in November.

Randall Woodfin may have to find a way to deal with the ongoing controversy over an embattled Confederate monument in Birmingham. The city is facing a lawsuit from the state Attorney General Steve Marshall over the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Linn Park.

The Alabama Memorial Preservation Act that was passed this summer makes it illegal to remove or rename any memorial streets or buildings on public property that have been in place for 40 or more years.

New Confederate Monument to be Unveiled This Weekend

Aug 25, 2017

Confederate monuments have been the topic of many discussions lately, mostly about them being torn down or covered up.

But a new Confederate monument is set to be unveiled this weekend in Crenshaw County. The monument is dedicated to “unknown Alabama Confederate soldiers.” David Coggins, the owner of Confederate Memorial Park where the monument will be located, says it is intended to honor Confederate soldiers who died in battle and never received a proper burial.

An Alabama mayor is offering to take Confederate-related monuments recently disassembled in New Orleans.

Hanceville Mayor Kenneth Nail wrote to New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, asking him to consider donating the monuments for display in Veterans Memorial Park in Hanceville. The town of about 3,250 people is about 40 miles north of Birmingham.

A conference committee will decide what to do with an Alabama bill that would prevent Confederate monuments from being taken down. 

The group of will try to resolve House and Senate differences in the bill that would prohibit the removal of any historic marker or monument.

The House of Representatives on Thursday appointed conference committee members so the panel can meet in the final week of the legislative session.

The bill comes as some Southern cities consider taking down Confederate monuments.

Lawmakers Could Vote On Memorial Bill

Apr 27, 2017
Alabama Confederate Monument

State lawmakers are approaching a decision on whether to prevent changes to long-standing monuments in the state, including Confederate memorials.

The state House of Representatives is scheduled to vote later today on a bill that would forbid any alterations or removal of markers that have stood for more than 20 years.

Gov. Kay Ivey could sign the legislation into law if the House passes it. A spokeswoman says Ivey’s office will review the bill if it is approved.

State Senate Delays Vote on Alabama Memorial Preservation Act

Feb 16, 2017

The state Senate has delayed a vote on a bill that would bar changes to historic or Confederate monuments in Alabama.  

Senators said Thursday that they needed more time to review the measure.

The Alabama Memorial Preservation Act comes amid regional debate over the appropriateness of monuments, street names and buildings with visible links to slavery.

The bill would forbid changes to or the removal of monuments that have been on public land for more than 50 years.