October 21, 2020

Mississippi senate bill would prohibit moving public Confederate, other monuments

A Mississippi senator has introduced a bill that aims to eliminate government’s ability to remove or relocate historical monuments and memorials.

Senate Bill 2068 was introduced by Sen. Joseph Seymour, R-Vancleave, who represents Senate District 47.

The bill would prohibit the relocation, removal or altering of any public monument including:

Revolutionary War
War of 1812
Mexican-American War
War Between the States (known by most historians as the American Civil War)
Spanish-American War
World War I
World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Persian Gulf War
War in Iraq
Native American War

Although not explicitly outlined in the bill, the bill seemingly is in response to recent moves across the South to remove or relocate Confederate memorials.

Last year, the University of Mississippi leaders agreed to relocate a monument to Confederate soldiers from a prominent location on campus to a less visible one. The decision was tabled earlier this month by the Institute of Higher Learning, which must approve the matter.

Erected in 1906, the statue has stood at the front of the Lyceum Circle, honoring soldiers from the Confederate army in the Civil War. It has been a symbol of division, which has grown in recent years and culminating in a march by two pro-Confederate groups last February, and other protests by groups in favor of its removal.

Following the march, University groups passed resolutions requesting the statue be removed and later in the year, the University announced plans to relocate the statue.

The relocation plans themselves were approved by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History last month, leaving the IHL’s approval, or denial, of the University’s request to move the statue as the final step in the process.

The Oxford Eagle contributed to this article.