4 New Places Where Confederate Symbols May Be Disappearing

After half a century of waving over the capitol in South Carolina, the legislature is finally taking steps to potentially remove their confederate flag from display in the wake of the Charleston church murders. Sadly, the deal is far from done: two-thirds of the state legislature needs to approve bringing the flag down, and, if these eight lawmakers are any indication, there are still a number of politicians ready to fight to keep it flying. Still, it is clear that overall, public sentiment has changed, and not just in South Carolina.

Here are four other places where confederate symbols have disappeared, or may do so soon.

1) Virginia license plates

Calling them “unnecessarily divisive and hurtful,” the Virginia governor has announced that state-sponsored confederate flag license plates will soon be disappearing. “Although the battle flag is not flown here on Capitol Square, it has been the subject of considerable controversy, and it divides many of our people,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe said, according to the Washington Post. “Even its display on state-issued license tags is, in my view, unnecessarily divisive and hurtful to too many of our people.” It’s a right that the state now can exercise, thanks to a recent Supreme Court decision that says refusing to allow confederate flags on state plates is not a free speech violation.

2) Kentucky’s Jefferson Davis statue

Flags are one thing, but other states are considering removing statues, too. In Kentucky, that means potentially relocating a prominent statue of the leader of the Confederacy. “Kentucky’s Republican nominee for governor says the state should remove a statue of Jefferson Davis from the Capitol rotunda,” reports the Associated Press. “Matt Bevin said he applauded South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley for asking lawmakers to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds following the shooting deaths of nine black people at a Charleston church last week. Bevin said it would be equally appropriate for Kentucky to remove the statue of Davis, the only president of the Confederacy during the Civil War.”

3) Tennessee’s Nathan Bedford Forrest bust

He may only be a head, but the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the southern war hero who eventually became a Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, is just as offensive to many as a full body replica, and Tennessee Democrats want him out of the Capitol. “U.S. Representative Jim Cooper, D-Nashville, used Twitter Monday to call for the bust of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest to be taken down,” reports Nashville Public Radio. “The sculpture is on the top floor of the Tennessee Capitol, near the state Senate chambers.”

Unfortunately, getting rid of the Capitol bust of Forrest may be the easy task. A local Nashville businessman has a much larger monument of Forrest on his own private property, and now Tennessee is looking to see if there are ways to block it from view. “A 25-foot fiberglass Forrest statue, designed by the late sculptor and attorney Jack Kershaw, was erected on private land in 1998 near Crieve Hall. Kershaw was among a series of attorneys hired by James Earl Ray after being convicted of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968,” writes the Tennessean. “The statue has been a source of controversy in Nashville and occasional vandalism ever since it was built. The statue, surrounded by Confederate state battle flags, sits on a 3.5-acre property owned by Bill Dorris, a Nashville businessman.” The city council is considering ways to make it less visible from the interstate.

4) Retailers everywhere

Want to own confederate flags and other such merchandise? That’s going to be a lot harder today than it was last week. Many retailers reacted to the news of the shooting by pulling flags from their shelves and online. First to ban the sales was Walmart, which said in a statement, “We never want to offend anyone with the products that we offer. We have taken steps to remove all items promoting the confederate flag from our assortment — whether in our stores or on our web site … We have a process in place to help lead us to the right decisions when it comes to the merchandise we sell. Still, at times, items make their way into our assortment improperly — this is one of those instances.” Ebay and Sears followed soon after. Amazon also pulled down its own stock but not before their sales “skyrocketed by more than 3000% in 24 hours,” according to Business Insider

If only we could get retailers to stop selling guns just as quickly, maybe we could make some real progress in this country.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Jim Ven
Jim V3 years ago

thanks for the article.

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

I'm really getting tired of the pc police telling us what we can and cannot say and do.

Paulinha Russell
Paulinha Russell3 years ago

Thank you

Carole R.
Carole R3 years ago


Miranda Lyon
Miranda Lyon3 years ago

Hi Ricky, Why not contact the bands that use the Confederate battle flag as a backdrop at their concerts and let them know how you feel about it, and why you feel that way? If you approach it in a way that invites dialogue you might actually get some of these folks to think about what they're doing in a new way, or at least be willing to talk about it with you. Seems like a great opportunity for a real conversation.

Ricky Thamman
Ricky T3 years ago

I'd like it taken down as backdrops to several rock concerts I still keep seeing it at.

Darryll Green
Darryll Green3 years ago

While America was distracted by a the Confederate flag debacle, the U.S. Congress forfeited the entire economic future of the country by quietly passing so-called “fast-track authority” which will allow President Obama to approve the TPP “free trade” agreement.

The TPP, as you may have heard, outright surrenders U.S. sovereignty to multinational corporations, handing them total global monopolies over labor practices, immigration, Big Pharma drug pricing, GMO food labeling, criminalization of garden seeds and much more. In all, the TPP hands over control of 80% of the U.S. economy to global monopolists, and the TPP is set up to enable those corporations to engage in virtually unlimited toxic chemical pollution, medical monopolization, the gutting of labor safety laws and much more.
Plus, did I mention the TPP will displace millions of American works as corporations outsource jobs to foreign workers? While corporations rake in the profits from new global powers, everyday American workers will lose their livelihoods and their jobs (not to mention their pensions).
Essentially, America just got sold out by people like Marco Rubio.
While Amazon.com was frantically deleting Confederate flag products from its website and everybody was going bat-crap insane over the 1970’s comedy TV series Dukes of Hazzard and its use of the so-called Confederate flag on a hot rod car, Republicans and the President were busy committing outright treason at the high

Mari Lee Kozlowski
Past Member 3 years ago

Enough indeed. It is sad to me that there is a petition on this very site, asking that the Confederate flag be raised again as a part of "history," and some of the comments below the petition, in support of it, are both hateful and distressing.

Kathryn Irby
Past Member 3 years ago

Please visit moveon.org, to sign two petitions, one of which reads "Remove the Confederate Flag From all Government Places." Other other one reads "Remove the Confederate Flag from Mississippi's State Flag." Please share too! Thank you in advance!