Saturday, May 22, 2021

No Heritage for Confederate Monuments

Axios has created an animated map which shows the construction and removal of Confederate monuments over time. The map reveals that there have been two key periods in the history of monuments to the Confederate side in the American Civil War. The war ended in 1865 but it wasn't until the first two decades of the 20th Century that the South became obsessed with constructing monuments to Confederate battles and leaders. 

The second key period in the history of Confederate monuments has been the first two decades of the 21st Century which has seen a significant campaign to remove Confederate monuments. One of the arguments against removing public memorials to the Confederacy is that they are historical monuments. Axios's map Confederate monuments in the U.S. over time goes a long way to deconstruct this argument by revealing that the majority of Confederate monuments aren't even one century old. Most Confederate monuments therefore have little heritage value.

Axios' map uses data from the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Southern Poverty Law Center has mapped over 1,500 public symbols of the Confederacy across the United States. These public symbols include not only statues but schools, parks and roads which have been named for Confederate leaders or battles.

The SPLC has created its own map Whose Heritage? Public Symbols of the Confederacy showing the location of these Confederate symbols and memorials. The SPLC map uses color coded markers to show which are monuments, which are schools and which are roads. If you select a marker on the map you can also see the year that the selected memorial to the Confederacy was dedicated.

No comments: