Speaker Joe Straus Wants the Confederate Plaque Inside the Capitol Removed

Straus said the plaque is "not accurate."

AUSTIN, Texas - Speaker of the House Joe Straus, R- San Antonio, is using his position on the State Preservation Board to get the Children of the Confederacy Creed plaque removed from the first floor of the Texas State Capitol.

In a letter addressed to Gov. Greg Abbott dated Sept. 19, Straus writes, "Confederate monuments and plaques are understandably important to many Texans. But it is important that the historical information displayed on the Capitol grounds is accurate and appropriate."

Straus says the Children of the Confederacy Creed plaque, which was created in 1959, isn't accurate because it states the Civil War was not an act of rebellion and was not primarily about slavery. Straus writes "Texans are not well-served by incorrect information."

Straus is asking the other members on the board to direct staff to identify the necessary steps to remove the plaque. He also states the other symbols on the Capitol grounds should be reviewed and some of the descriptions may need to be updated.

The speaker joins State Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, in asking for the removal of the plaque. Johnson first asked the state to take the plaque down in 2015. He also called for a discussion of removing all Confederate monuments on the Capitol grounds after the attack in Charlottesville, Va. 

“I applaud Speaker Straus for doing the right thing by calling for the plaque’s removal. The other members of the Texas State Preservation Board are well educated, honest folks. I think once they've all taken the time to read the plaque and compare it to the historical record, they will come to the same conclusion Speaker Straus and I did,” Representative Johnson said in a statement.

“We still have work to do, obviously, but this is a very positive step in the right direction. With Speaker Straus's support, I am confident the plaque will come down soon. Once again, Speaker Straus has demonstrated the kind of principled leadership for which he is now known,” Johnson stated.

In addition to the plaque, there are three other Confederate-related monuments on the Capitol grounds: Confederate Soldiers Monument, Hood's Texas Brigade Monument and Terry's Texas Rangers Monument.

Now it is up to Chair of the State Preservation Board, Gov. Abbott, and vice-chair, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to determine what they want to see happen with the plaque.

Requests for comment to the State Preservation Board, and the Texas chapter of Sons of Confederate Veterans had not yet been returned as of Tuesday morning.


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