Speaker Straus calls for removal of 'Children of the Confederacy Creed' plaque

He sent a letter to the State Preservation Board Tuesday, calling the plaque inaccurate and asking them to start the process to remove it.

AUSTIN – Texas House Speaker Joe Straus said he is calling for the State Preservation Board to remove the Children of the Confederacy Creed plaque on the first floor of the Texas Capitol.

Straus said the plaque does not meet the standard for being historically accurate and appropriate. “The plaque says that the Civil War was not an act of rebellion and was not primarily about slavery. This is not accurate, and Texans are not well-served by incorrect information about our history,” Straus said.

The full post on Speaker Straus’ Facebook post reads:

“Today I am sending a letter to my fellow members of the State Preservation Board regarding the Children of the Confederacy Creed plaque on the first floor of the Capitol.

“Confederate monuments and plaques are understandably important to many Texans. But it is important that the historical information displayed on the Capitol grounds is accurate and appropriate. The Children of the Confederacy Creed plaque does not meet this standard. The plaque says that the Civil War was not an act of rebellion and was not primarily about slavery. This is not accurate, and Texans are not well-served by incorrect information about our history.

“Those of us who serve on the State Preservation Board should direct staff to identify the steps necessary to remove this plaque as soon as practicable. Texans should expect to see an accurate depiction of history when they visit their state Capitol. As I have stated before, I also believe that Preservation Board Staff should study the historical accuracy and context of other symbols on the Capitol grounds. For example, some of the language that explains and describes monuments may need updating. We have an obligation to all the people we serve to ensure that our history is described correctly, especially when it comes to a subject as painful as slavery.”

KVUE News has also obtained a copy of the letter Straus sent to Gov. Greg Abbott:

Straus letter to Gov. Abbott over Children of the Confederacy Creed plaque by kvuenews on Scribd

The plaque was installed in 1959 and is one of nearly a dozen Confederate monuments around the Texas Capitol.

Rep. Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) issued the following statement:

“I applaud Speaker Straus for doing the right thing by calling for the plaque’s removal.  The other members of the Texas State Preservation Board are well educated, honest folks.  I think once they've all taken the time to read the plaque and compare it to the historical record, they will come to the same conclusion Speaker Straus and I did.
“We still have work to do, obviously, but this is a very positive step in the right direction.  With Speaker Straus's support, I am confident the plaque will come down soon.  Once again, Speaker Straus has demonstrated the kind of principled leadership for which he is now known.”

This story will be updated. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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