In December 2015 I wrote a piece for the Atlantic following a decision in New Orleans to remove four monuments connected to the Civil War and Reconstruction. Numerous court hearings and appeals over the past two years threatened to undo this decision, but earlier this week the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave the city the go ahead on removal. This includes the monument to the battle of Liberty Place.
The city is now accepting bids from contractors for the job of removing these monuments, which could begin in the next few weeks. Once again, this is a decision that must be left to the people of New Orleans, but removal will likely have a serious impact on deliberations in other cities.
The city of Louisville recently relocated one Confederate monument. The town of Rockville, Maryland plans on relocating its soldier monument. And as we all know Charlottesville’s city council recently voted to relocate its Lee monument.
The New Orleans decision, however, involves four sites, including three large monuments honoring Lee, Davis and Beauregard. It will represent the most dramatic transformation of a commemorative landscape devoted to the Confederacy.
It is unclear as to whether it will lead to new or renewed calls for removal in other cities and towns. Stay tuned, this wave has yet to crest.
[Image: White Citizens Council Meeting in New Orleans]