AUSTIN, Texas — A historically inaccurate brass plaque honoring confederate veterans will come down after a vote this morning, WFAA has learned.
The State Preservation Board, which is in charge of the capitol building and grounds, met this morning at 10:30 a.m. to officially decide the fate of the metal plate.
After a four minute meeting, the board voted unanimously to remove the historically inaccurate confederate plaque at the Capitol. State Rep. Jeff Leach R- Plano made the motion and it was seconded and unanimously approved.
“Today is a good day. I’m grateful to Speaker Bonnen for appointing me to the State Preservation Board and I was proud this morning to vote alongside him, Governor Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Patrick to ensure the swift removal of the Children of the Confederacy Plaque," said state Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano."This inaccurate plaque is a historical abomination - and I am happy to know that it will no longer have a home in the Texas Capitol."
This comes after State Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, began asking for it to be taken down in August 2017.
“While I'm glad the State Preservation Board voted to remove the 'Children of the Confederacy Creed' plaque from the Texas Capitol, none of us in state government should be high-fiving each other or patting ourselves on the back today," Rep. Johnson said. "The plaque should never have been put up by the Legislature in the first place, and it certainly shouldn’t have taken sixty years to remove it. And that’s on Republicans and Democrats alike, to be perfectly honest."
The plaque, erected by the Children of the Confederacy in 1959, reads in part “…the war between the states was not a rebellion, nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery.”
But Texas’s declaration to secede from the union said it originally joined the U.S. because it “was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery… which her people intended should exist in all future time.”
“The secession documents of the State of Texas, whose legitimacy are not in question, flatly contradicts the claim…” Johnson wrote to the State Preservation Board in August 2017. The “plaque has no rightful place in the Texas Capitol.”
The “plaque is cringe-worthy in its misstatement of the truth regarding Texas’ involvement in the Civil War and should be removed immediately,” Johnson later wrote to Governor Abbott in October 2017.
But for more than a year, state leaders did nothing. In November 2018, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton reignited the issue when his office ruled that either the legislature or the State Preservation Board can remove it.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott and newly elected Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, have publicly stated their support for the Plaque’s removal.
The plaque doesn't have an official removal date, but is set to be removed in the coming days, perhaps as early as this afternoon.