Position on Confederate Monuments in Virginia: It’s Complicated | State and regional news
Confederate monuments could relocate due to new construction or be removed by order of elected leaders, but in the last two elections in Virginia, voters in nine counties voted strongly against moving Civil War memorials.
In the November election in East Virginia, Middlesex County saw 77% of the 5,500 votes cast “no” in a referendum on Civil War monuments, while in neighboring Mathews County 80% of the 4,700 voters said “no” to a similar question on the monument movement. .
In southern Virginia, 67% of Nottoway County’s 5,300 voters were also opposed to moving their Confederate War Memorial, opened in 1893, directly in front of the courthouse.
State law changed to allow the removal of war memorials in 2020, the same year that the six counties of Halifax, Warren, Tazewell, Lunenburg, Franklin and Charles City all voted 55% or more against the relocation or removal of monuments from their current locations, usually outside courthouses.
Despite high rates of dissenting votes, academics suggest that recent referendums in these nine counties have little bearing on the future of monument movements statewide.
University of Virginia law professor Rich Schragger is the author of legal reviews and newspaper articles on the legality of moving war memorials. Opinions on whether to move Confederate statues tend to be divided along partisan lines, he said on a phone call.