Some say they mark history and honor heritage. Others argue they are racist symbols of America’s dark legacy of slavery.
Many local government officials are now weighing whether to keep Confederate memorials in their cities and towns. Here’s a state-by-state breakdown:
“By relocating these statues we are not destroying, hiding or sanitizing history. We are honoring and learning our history through this relocation,” Lexington Mayor Jim Gray wrote on Twitter.
Gray had announced his intent to relocate the statues in a series of tweets just after the Charlottesville attack.
The Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners voted in July to remove the Memoria In Aeterna monument, which honors Confederate soldiers, from a county courthouse. The board voted Wednesday that the monument would only be removed if donations could be raised to cover half the cost, estimated to be as high as $280,000.
“Now more than ever before, we must stand united and committed to diversity and inclusion as we all attempt to heal from the tragedy in Charlottesville,” the teams’ statement said.
The board is also expected to relocate the Hillsborough County Civil War Veterans Monument.
Busts of Lee and Confederate Lt. Gen. Stonewall Jackson will be removed from the City University of New York’s Hall of Fame for Great Americans because “New York stands against racism,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted Wednesday. “There are many great Americans, many of them New Yorkers worthy of a spot in this great hall,” Cuomo tweeted. “These two Confederates are not among them.”
Also Wednesday, Cuomo requested that the acting US secretary of the Army, Ryan McCarthy, reconsider his refusal to rename General Lee Avenue and Stonewall Jackson Drive at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn.
Madison Mayor Paul Soglin announced Thursday that two Confederate memorials at the Forest Hill Cemetery will be removed. In a statement, Soglin said taking down the “monuments will not erase our shared history. The Confederacy’s legacy will be with us, whether we memorialize it in marble or not.”
“There should be no place in our country for bigotry, hatred or violence against those who seek to unite our communities and our country,” the mayor’s statement said.
The removal had “minimal or no disruption to the cemetery itself.”
Birmingham Mayor William Bell ordered plastic draped over a Confederate monument at Linn Park and a plywood structure built around it while officials decide what to do. State law prohibits a city from taking down the monument, he said, but not covering it up. “This country should in no way tolerate the hatred that the KKK, neo-Nazis, fascists and other hate groups spew,” he said. “The God I know doesn’t put one race over another.”
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said he will sue Bell and the city, citing state law that prohibits the “relocation, removal, alteration, or other disturbance of any monument on public property that has been in place for 40 years or more.”
Jacksonville City Council President Anna Lopez Brosche said she asked city officials for an inventory of all Confederate monuments and markers. Brosche said in a statement that she plans to submit legislation to relocate the monuments to museums for “appropriate historical context.”
The city of Atlanta said it is currently reviewing options for the Peace Monument in Piedmont Park. Mayor Kasim Reed asked the public art commission to review the city’s art and determine which pieces have ties to racism and slavery, but hasn’t asked to remove any.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner asked city staff to compile an inventory of Confederate statues and make recommendations about whether they should be removed from city property. Members of the public urged the council to take down the statues. “It is my hope that we can, in a very positive and constructive way, move forward,” Turner said.
Officials in Richmond, the one-time capital of the Confederacy, have started to hold public meetings for community input on the future of the city’s many Civil War monuments and statues. According to local reports, the first meeting was civil, with spirited debate on both sides. The city hopes to have a plan in place later this fall.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray wants to remove a monument to Confederate soldiers in Lake View Cemetery. The cemetery is on private property, but Murray said in a statement that his office called the cemetery operator to express his concerns about the monument. Murray said the move would send a “strong message by taking these archaic symbols down.”
“We must remove statues and flags that represent this country’s abhorrent history of slavery and oppression based on the color of people’s skin. It is the right thing to do,” Murray’s statement said.
“It’s not my desire or mission to tear down any monuments or memorials. We have a public process for this. If the public wants to be engaged on this, I’d invite them to get engaged in it,” Ducey said.
Officials with Gettysburg National Military Park said they have no plans to remove any of the park’s 1,300-plus monuments, markers or plaques.
The Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles removed a Confederate monument Wednesday morning, spokesman Theodore Hovey told CNN. The monument memorialized more than 30 Confederate veterans and their families who are buried in the cemetery. It was erected in 1925.
The city was able to start the process to relocate the monuments after court rulings cleared the way following heated public debate and legal fights.
The Louisiana Legislature was considering a measure that would allow local governments to take down a war memorial only if voters approve the action at “an election held for that purpose.”
“The city charter says, according to our city attorney, if the mayor wants to protect or feels like she needs to protect the public or keep her community safe, she has the right to keep her community safe. I felt the best way to remove the monuments was to remove them overnight,” Pugh said.
The statue of former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney was removed from the grounds of the Maryland State House in Annapolis early Friday morning, according to CNN affiliate WBAL.
Taney, the fifth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, penned in 1857 the majority opinion in the Dred Scott decision declaring that slaves were not citizens of the United States and therefore were not protected under the US Constitution.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan had called for the statue’s removal on Tuesday.
“While we cannot hide from our history — nor should we — the time has come to make clear the difference between properly acknowledging our past and glorifying the darkest chapters of our history,” Hogan said in a statement.
The museum agreed to pay for the monument’s removal and storage until a permanent new location could be found. The museum must find a Civil War museum, battlefield or cemetery outside St. Louis as the monument’s new home, the city said.
CNN’s Deanna Hackney and Keith Allen contributed to this report.