Debate over removing Confederate statues on Capitol Hill
As confederate monuments across the country come down. Several behind the walls of one of our nations most influential building remain intact.
Visitors to the U.S. Capitol can see statues of Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and other confederate war leaders. But talk of their removal is surfacing.
“I think there should be such an effort, but as a historian I have enough trouble figuring out what’s already happened then to try to figure out what’s going to happen," Jim Grossman, Executive Director, American Historical Association said.
Grossman has been following the unrest surrounding the removal of confederate flags and monuments for years.
“They should be taken down and removed to a museum. They shouldn’t be destroyed their a part of our history," Grossman added.
But removing these statues from the Capitol Building might not be so simple. Architect of the Capitol curator Dr. Michele Cohen told us last year that the states decide which two figures they want displayed in the National Statuary Hall Collection.
“So first legislation would have to be passed they would have to identify the person they want to be selected," Cohen said.
Virginia chose to add Lee back in 1909. Mississippi added Davis in 1931. So it’s up to state lawmakers and their governor to decide to remove them.
A spokesman for Kirk Cox, the next Virginia House Speaker tells us. "we have not considered what, if any, changes might be made to the Virginia contributions to the National Statuary Hall Collection.”
Congress could change the rules and return power to the federal government on what statues go up and which are removed.