It has been more than a year and a half since white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville to protest the city’s decision to remove statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. A counterprotester, Heather Heyer, was killed by one of those white supremacists. Yet the General Assembly still can’t see its way to adopting a law that would clarify that cities and towns in Virginia have the authority to take down the many Confederate monuments that are scattered around the commonwealth.

Virginia’s legislators should read two illuminating documents. The first is a recent decision by an Alabama judge holding that Birmingham has the right to remove a Confederate monument despite a state law — similar to Virginia’s — that bars removal of such monuments.


Richard C. Schragger, It’s the City’s Right to Remove Confederate Monuments, Richmond Times-Dispatch 9A (March 3, 2019).