Texas removed a Confederacy plaque and is asking what to do with it

The plaque, which stated that the Civil War was not about slavery, had long been controversial and deemed inaccurate.
The Children of the Confederacy Creed plaque at the Capitol in Austin, Texas, on Aug. 17, 2017.
The Children of the Confederacy Creed plaque at the Capitol in Austin, Texas, on Aug. 17, 2017.Jay Janner / Austin American-Statesman via AP file

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By Suzanne Gamboa

AUSTIN, Texas — The state of Texas has removed from its Capitol a plaque that says the Civil War was not about slavery, but now is asking the public what should be done with it.

The “Children of the Confederacy Creed” plaque, taken down last week, spells out in raised brass letters the beliefs of the Texas Division of the Children of the Confederacy.

“We therefore, pledge ourselves to preserve pure ideals...To study and teach the truths of history (one of the most important of which is, that the War between the States was not a rebellion, nor was its underlying cause slavery)," reads the plaque erected in 1959.

The plaque had long been controversial and deemed inaccurate for the slavery reference by scholars. In the only debate held in Texas’ gubernatorial election last year, Gov. Greg Abbott, who was re-elected, had said it should be up to the Legislature to take it down and that it “absolutely” should come down because of historical inaccuracy.

According to media reports Friday, the State Preservation Board voted to store the plaque while it takes public comment over 90 days on what its fate should be.

Top state officials, including Abbott, State Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, who are members of the preservation board, sent substitutes to cast votes for them.

There were conflicting views on the plaque and its future, as the Dallas Morning News reported in live tweets from the meeting.

Another witness criticized the board for not having any Hispanic or black members, the Morning News reported.

The back and forth suggest the state is likely to receive some highly emotional and conflicting comments from the public on the plaque.

State Rep. Rafael Anchía, a Democrat who represents a Dallas-area district, provided this preview.

"It’s a lie. Don’t relocate it. Melt it down. Like in Terminator," said Rep. Anchía on Twitter.

While Republican Rep. Kyle Biederman, who represents parts of Central Texas, opposed the plaque's removal at all, as the Texas Tribune reported: "I just believe that taking down that plaque is the beginning of the rest of the monuments and the rest of history being erased from Texas. I don't believe that plaque is as inaccurate as everyone claims it is."

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