National

Confederate monuments are falling, but hundreds still stand. Here’s where.

More than 80 Confederate monuments have come down from public land since the Charleston, S.C., church shooting in 2015, more than a third of them since George Floyd was killed in police custody May 25.

Monuments dedicated before 2000
Dedicated since 2000
Monuments dedicated before 2000
Dedicated since 2000
Removed since 2015
Removed since Memorial Day
Removed since 2015
Removed since Memorial Day
Confederate states
Monuments and status shown are based on an accounting done by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2019. Additional Washington Post reporting identified some monuments that have been removed recently. If you know of a monument that is not accurately represented, let us know. According to the SPLC, only six monuments were removed between 1923 and 2015. Post reporting found one monument whose removal date is unknown.

Communities focused anew on long-controversial symbols of the Confederacy after Charleston and the deadly white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville in 2017. Floyd’s death supercharged demands to remove all sorts of stone-and-metal symbols of racial injustice. Some have been yanked down by protesters; others have been taken down by local authorities.

“I can’t say this is a unique situation,” Karen Cox, a historian at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, told The Post earlier this month. “There’s a long history since the civil rights movement of actions against the monuments, especially after the Charleston massacre and after Charlottesville. This is the same exact debate we’ve seen since the end of the Civil War.”

While dozens of Confederate monuments have been removed since 2009, as of 2019, more than 775 remained, along with hundreds of names on roads, schools, parks and the like.

Recent monument removals by year

At least 30

removed

since

Memorial

Day

36 removed in 2017,

same year as Charlottesvile

30

20

10

4 removed in 2015,

all after Charleston

‘09

‘12

‘13

‘14

‘15

‘16

’17

’18

’19

‘20

36 removed in 2017,

same year as Charlottesvile

At least 30

removed since

Memorial Day

30

20

10

4 removed in 2015,

all after Charleston

2009

’12

’13

’14

’15

’16

’17

’18

’19

’20

36 removed in 2017,

same year as Charlottesvile

At least 30

removed since

Memorial Day

30

20

10

4 removed in 2015,

all after Charleston

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

36 removed in 2017,

same year as Charlottesvile

At least 30

removed since

Memorial Day

30

20

10

4 removed in 2015,

all after Charleston

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

There is one monument not represented here whose removal date is unknown. Three New Mexico monuments that were removed sometime between 2016 and 2018 are accounted for above in 2018.

Georgia and Virginia have the most remaining monuments — more than 100 each, according to the SPLC — and they have attracted activists like magnets in recent weeks.

Protesters in Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy, tore down a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and another of Gen. Williams Carter Wickham, and they attempted to topple the 60-foot-high likeness of Gen. Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue before Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) tweeted on June 4 that it would be taken down. (It is on state property.)

(Dylan Garner/Richmond Times-Dispatch via Storyful)

However, lawsuits have been filed and a court injunction has temporarily halted the governor’s plan. Richmond City Council leaders, meanwhile, have begun to take down the other Confederate statues along the street, which stand on city land.

Just up Interstate 95 in Alexandria, Va., “Appomattox,” which had stood at an Old Town intersection since 1889, was removed a month earlier than planned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, owners of the long-controversial memorial. Less than 10 miles away, protesters in D.C. toppled a statue of Confederate Gen. Albert Pike near Judiciary Square on Friday night.

In Decatur, Ga., a judge ordered that the 30-foot “Lost Cause” obelisk be removed from a town square and placed in storage by June 26. Groups in DeKalb County had spent years trying to get the monument removed and had added a marker near it saying it has “bolstered white supremacy and faulty history,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Noted monuments came down in several parts of Alabama, home to at least 60 of them. At the state’s flagship university in Tuscaloosa, where Gov. George Wallace stood in a doorway in 1963 to block two African American students from entering, a monument and three plaques that honored students who served in the Confederate army and student cadet corps were removed this month.

An hour away in Birmingham, crews dispatched by the mayor dismantled a 50-foot obelisk memorializing Confederate soldiers and sailors in a downtown park. In Montgomery, protesters pulled down another Lee statue from in front of a high school named for him, and the port city of Mobile was fined for taking down a statue of Adm. Raphael Semmes.

Jacksonville, Fla., which has three Confederate monuments and eight historical markers, will be losing them all, according to its mayor. One, a controversial 62-foot statue and plaque that had stood in a park since 1898, was removed June 9.

Robert Walker poses for a photograph with the remains of a Confederate memorial that was removed in Birmingham, Ala., this month. (Jay Reeves/AP)

A Confederate monument is dismantled this month in Indianapolis. (Mykal Mceldowney/AP)

Robert Walker poses for a photograph with the remains of a Confederate memorial that was removed in Birmingham, Ala., this month. (Jay Reeves/AP) A Confederate monument is dismantled this month in Indianapolis. (Mykal Mceldowney/AP)

In Indianapolis, a monument honoring 1,616 prisoners of war who died at a Union prison camp was removed from a park, where it had been placed by city officials in 1928 at the behest of the Ku Klux Klan.

This list goes on, from Bentonville, Ark., to Louisville to Rocky Mount, N.C., to Fort Worth.

Discussions and legal wrangling over some of these memorials began years — and sometimes decades — ago but have accelerated in recent years, spurred on by new public scrutiny.

Laws in some states make removing Confederate symbols extremely difficult, including in South Carolina, where a law written in 2000 requires two-thirds of legislators have to approve any removal. An Alabama law restricting Confederate removals was enacted in 2017, and it is unclear whether or how the recent removals square with it.

Most Confederate statues and memorials were erected in Southern states, but some also appear in unexpected places such as Arizona and California.

A few were built around the time of the Civil War, but most went up decades later in the early 20th century when states and municipalities were writing Jim Crow laws that codified racial segregation.

Number of monuments dedicated, by decade

1860-1869

20

1860-

1869

‘70-

‘79

‘80-

‘89

‘90-

‘99

1900-1999

205

196

180

160

140

120

100

80

60

40

20

1900-

1909

‘10-

‘19

‘20-

‘29

‘30-

‘39

‘40-

‘49

‘50-

‘59

‘60-

‘69

‘70-

‘79

‘80-

‘89

‘90-

‘99

2000-2015

20

2000-

2009

‘10-

’15

1860-1869

20

1860-

1869

‘70-

‘79

‘80-

‘89

‘90-

‘99

1900-1999

205

196

180

160

140

120

100

80

60

40

20

0

1900-

1909

‘10-

‘19

‘20-

‘29

‘30-

‘39

‘40-

‘49

‘50-

‘59

‘60-

‘69

‘70-

‘79

‘80-

‘89

‘90-

‘99

2000-2015

20

2000-

2009

‘10-

‘15

205

200

196

180

160

140

120

100

80

60

40

25

20

10

1860-

1869

’70-

’79

’80-

’89

’90-

’99

1900-

1909

’10-

’19

’20-

’29

’30-

’39

’40-

’49

’50-

’59

’60-

’69

’70-

’79

’80-

’89

’90-

’99

2000-

2009

’10-

’15

205

200

196

180

160

140

120

100

80

60

40

25

20

10

1860-

1869

’70-

’79

’80-

’89

’90-

’99

1900-

1909

’10-

’19

’20-

’29

’30-

’39

’40-

’49

’50-

’59

’60-

’69

’70-

’79

’80-

’89

’90-

’99

2000-

2009

’10-

’15

There are 70 monuments not represented here whose dedication date is unknown.

At least 35 monuments have been dedicated on public land since 2000, and at least three have gone up since 2014.

The most recent listed in SPLC data was dedicated in Pearisburg, Va., less than a month after the Charleston shooting. It is a display in the Giles County Courthouse of a medal awarded in 1995 to a soldier who was killed in the 1862 Battle of Williamsburg. He reportedly died clutching the Confederate flag.

As municipalities became leery of adding Confederate monuments, some groups have chosen to erect them on private property.

A 20-ton granite block unveiled in Abbeville, S.C., in 2018 was dedicated to the 170 signers of South Carolina’s Ordinance of Secession from the Union. The Sons of Confederate Veterans had intended to place it on public land in Charleston, but their plans were twice rejected by local authorities.

Instead, the monument stands on a portion of a hill owned by Robert Hayes, a retired teacher, former leader of a neo-confederate group and sometime impersonator of Jefferson Davis.

This story has been updated after readers flagged other monuments that have been removed, including in Hornbrook, Calif., Decatur, Ga., and Raleigh, N.C.

The note on the map has been updated to say that five monuments were removed before 2015. It had previously said there were four.

Bonnie Berkowitz

Bonnie Berkowitz is a reporter in the Graphics department at The Washington Post who often focuses on Health & Science topics.

Adrian Blanco

Adrián Blanco Ramos is a graphic reporter in the graphics department at The Washington Post. He previously worked at Spanish newspaper El Confidencial focusing on data visualization, data analysis and investigative journalism. He participated in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalist’s Paradise Papers investigation.

About this story

The data used for this page is based on a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center which was last updated in July 2019. The SPLC data includes only monuments on public land and does not count monuments located on or within battlefields, museums, cemeteries or other places that are largely historical in nature. Markers that appeared to be approved by historical commissions were also excluded.

Additional Post reporting has been done to identify monuments that have been removed more recently. If you know of a monument that’s not accurately represented, let us know.

Originally published June 17, 2020.