JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Southern Poverty Law Center on Tuesday released the third edition of its “Whose Heritage?” report, which tracks memorials honoring the American Confederacy and its leaders throughout the United States.
In total, the report found that the country has 2,089 Confederate memorials standing currently. That includes monuments but also the names of schools, roads, cities, counties, public buildings and more.
The report shows that 75 Confederate memorials are still in place in the state of Florida. They include one building, two parks, six counties or cities, 14 schools, four school districts, 16 roads, 19 monuments and 13 others.
One of them is in the city of Jacksonville at Springfield Park, which was formerly named Confederate Park. For now, the Jacksonville City Council has decided to let a monument in the park remain in place and covered. Outside the park, there is also a street called Confederate Road, the SPLC report points out.
Since the first edition of the report was published in 2015, Florida has removed 30 Confederate memorials.
In Jacksonville, a Confederate monument in what was then known as Hemming Park, now James Weldon Johnson Park, was removed in 2020. In 2021, six Duval County schools were renamed.
“Destroying these monuments and memorials will not erase the legacy of slavery, but abolishing these memorials is a first and essential step in combating the white supremacist values of the Confederacy while drawing on historical memory to facilitate community healing,” said Kimberly Probolus, SPLC fellow and research analyst, Confederate memorials.
Meanwhile, Georgia stands as the state with the second-most Confederate memorials in the nation with 285. That’s just after Virginia with 290, although Virginia is credited as having removed the most memorials since the last report.
The SPLC report also points out the majority of memorials went up not immediately after the Civil War but during the Jim Crow era of racial segregation in the South. It’s when white supremacists were solidifying a false narrative about the Confederacy’s overall motive. It’s why the Confederate battle flag is so often used by white supremacist groups.
“It represented a government premised on white supremacy and the belief that white people had the right to enslave Black Americans,” Probolus said.
The report also shows 1,910 memorials are in former Confederate states, 102 are in border states, 44 are in former Union states and Washington, D.C., and 30 others are in states that weren’t part of the Union during the war.