RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC/WFXR) — Virginia led southern states and the rest of the nation in removal of Confederate symbols and monuments by a significant margin in 2020. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Virginia got rid of 71 Confederate symbols last year.
SPLC has been tracking the removal of Confederate since the mass shooting at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C. in 2015.
The state to remove the second highest amount of Confederate symbols was North Carolina with 24 changes. Alabama and Texas tied for third with 12 symbol removals each.
These symbols included monuments, school names, building names, plaques, highways, and more.
Across the country, almost 100 Confederate monuments were taken down in 2020, compared to less than 60 removed between 2015 and 2019. Nationwide, SPLC says at least 168 Confederate symbols were removed last year.
Virginia was also the only state to do away with a symbol of the Confederacy prior to the death of George Floyd and resurgence of Black Lives Matter protests. The Commonwealth replaced Lee-Jackson Day with Election Day in April.
Currently, there are about 2,100 remaining Confederate symbols nationwide, over 700 of which are monuments. One Confederate monument still standing in Virginia is the Robert E. Lee monument on Richmond’s Monument Avenue.