Confederate Plaque Stating Civil War Wasn't About Slavery Will Now Be Removed From Texas Capitol

A plaque at the Texas State Capitol in Austin that has stirred ire for more than half a century will finally be removed. Texas lawmakers, fresh in their newest legislative session this week, agreed Friday the Confederacy plaque that claims the U.S. Civil War wasn't about slavery will be removed.

The plaque removal was a bipartisan committee decision in Texas, which is considered to be one of the more conservative state governments in the country. Not only did new state Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick back the removal, Gov. Greg Abbott called for it in a letter to Rod Welsh, executive director of the State Preservation.

The plaque in question contains the phrase that the Civil War was "not a rebellion, nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery."

The plaque was initially erected in 1959, and state rep. Eric Johnson has led a cause to eradicate the "Children of the Confederacy Creed" that's been there now for more than six decades.

Johnson, a Dallas Democrat, has said the plaque "is not historically accurate in the slightest, to which any legitimate, peer-reviewed Civil War historian will attest."

Bonnen, who's the newly-appointed Texas Speaker of the House, also said the plaque was historically inaccurate.

George P. Bush, the Texas Land Commissioner and son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — and grandson of the late President George H.W. Bush — said the plaque and other such displays "belong in museums, not our state capitol."

State rep. Jeff Leach, a Republican from Plano who sits on the State Preservation Board, fervently agreed with the plaque removal.

"If I had a sledgehammer in my office, I'd go up there right now and remove it," Leach said. "But I'm told that's not necessary as it will be removed very soon."

The location to where it will be moved hasn't been indicated, but the motion started by Leach says it will simply be moved to a location away from the capitol grounds.

The Texas lawmakers agreed to the committee's decision of removing the plaque, which brought a sigh of relief to Johnson, who has worked to get this done.

"The plaque should never have been put up by the Legislature in the first place, and it certainly shouldn't have taken 60 years to remove it. And that's on Republicans and Democrats alike, to be perfectly honest," Johnson wrote.