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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – The Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center has released new data as part of its ‘Whose Heritage’ report, which tracks public symbols of the Confederacy across the U.S.
For 2022, the SPLC found that a total of 48 Confederate symbols were either removed, renamed or relocated from public spaces, including 16 monuments. That was up from the 17 monuments removed in 2021.
The organization started tracking and cataloging public displays of Confederate symbols in the wake of the 2015 massacre at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, which claimed the lives of nine Black members, including the senior pastor. The gunman was reportedly radicalized by white supremacist websites, and his own website featured the Confederate battle flag.
“Despite progress in removing Confederate iconography from the American landscape, a critical part of telling the hard history of slavery and racism in this country, Southern states continue to block the removal of Confederate symbols,” said Susan Corke, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project.
SPLC notes a total of seven states with laws on the books to prevent removal of Confederate memorials, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Similar legislation has been proposed for in Florida.
Some other states have accelerated the removal…SPLC: 48 Confederate symbols removed from public square in 2022