Texas Leads Nation in Removing Confederate Symbols

Texas beams with Southern pride, but in the three years since the Charleston church shooting that left nine black parishioners dead, the Lone Star State has led the nation in removing Confederate monuments, memorials and symbols.

A total 31 Confederate symbols have been removed in Texas since 2015 -- more than double the next closest state Virginia with 14. 

They're followed by Florida with nine, Tennessee with eight, Georgia and Maryland with six, North Carolina with five and Oklahoma with five.

Just this week, Texas' outgoing House Speaker Joe Straus filed a legal brief with the state attorney general to remove a plaque from the Children of the Confederacy mounted in 1959 inside the Texas Capitol.

"Texas is beginning to get pretty liberal with Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Dallas, and we've got some well-known politicians that are leading the charge, plus we've got a lot more monuments than anybody else does," says author and local historian Frank Johnson, a lifetime member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports there are roughly 1,700 Confederate monuments still standing across the United States. 

Virginia has 242 compared to Texas' 209.  Many of which were privately funded.

"There were fundraisers and contributions from different organizations, the state of Texas did not pay for these," says Johnson.  "If you're going to take them down somebody needs to be compensated for that, it's happened in other states."

Johnson says the SCV is pushing legislation to protect Confederate monuments and other military symbols in Texas.

"We've tried to go through our legislators to come up with some kind of bill that protects all veterans, like they did in Tennessee," he says.  "But we haven't received the cooperation, they can't get the votes in the House and Senate to get anything done."

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