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Filler-Corn orders Lee statue, other Confederate relics, removed from Old House Chamber

virginia state capitol
Photo Credit: traveler1116/iStock Photo

The Robert E. Lee statue is gone from the Old House Chamber of the Virginia State Capitol, at the direction of House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn.

The statue was among several relics of the Confederacy ordered removed Thursday night, according to a statement from Filler-Corn’s office.

The Old House Chamber, and any artifacts therein, are under the authority of the House of Delegates.

Filler-Corn announced Friday that she has asked Del. Delores McQuinn of Richmond to chair the newly-formed Speaker’s Advisory Group on State Capitol Artifacts to look at items under House control.

The group will advise the Speaker on possible future actions related to State Capitol historical artifacts under House control.

“Virginia has a story to tell that extends far beyond glorifying the Confederacy and its participants. The Confederacy’s primary objective in the Civil War was to preserve an ideology that maintained the enslavement of human beings,” Filler-Corn said. “Now is the time to provide context to our Capitol to truly tell the Commonwealth’s whole history. I look forward to Del. McQuinn and the Advisory Group on State Capitol Artifacts to work to ensure our Capitol reflects the broad experience of all Virginians.”

In addition to removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee, artifacts recognizing the following persons who participated in the Confederacy were removed from the Old House Chamber:

  • Joseph E. Johnston
  • Fitzhugh Lee
  • Alexander H. Stephens
  • Thomas Bocock
  • Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson
  • James E.B. “Jeb” Stuart
  • Jefferson F. Davis
  • Matthew F. Maury

This Speaker’s Advisory Group on State Capitol Artifacts, which will be made up of a bipartisan group of House members, historians and community leaders from across the Commonwealth who will meet and provide analysis to the Speaker on:

  • Possible further actions on House-controlled artifacts in the Capitol
  • The erection of additional historic artifacts and historic context in the House-controlled areas of the Capitol
  • What will be done long-term with the Confederate artifacts removed today from the Old House Chamber

“The artifacts at the Capitol are a painful reminder of the deep-rooted wounds of slavery and 401 years of oppression. These Confederate artifacts are constant reminders of individuals who had no intentions of guaranteeing justice, equality and equity for all,” McQuinn said. “I am proud of Speaker Filler-Corn for taking this action to not only remove these hateful symbols, but also create a process to make sure our State Capitol reflect our ideals. I am honored she has chosen me to chair the Speaker’s Advisory Group on State Capitol Artifacts and help our Commonwealth create a more inclusive State Capitol.”

augusta free press
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