Bastrop County Commissioners approve removal of Confederate statues

Two symbols of the Confederacy will be removed from Bastrop County’s courthouse grounds.

Commissioners gave the greenlight Monday with a majority vote and one abstention, marking a victory for Cheryl Lee who not only comes from a long line of social activists, but is also a part of the Bastrop 5, a group who advocated for the monuments to be removed since June.

RELATED: Protesters weigh in on debate about removing Confederate monuments

“I feel like the county got a win today, I feel like the people of Bastrop got a win today. I feel like my ancestors got a win today,” said Lee. “I do think that today is one historical for our community, historical for this court, and a good way to move forward in having that necessary discussion and changes that’s needed in the community for equality.“

Bastrop joins the long list of cities moving to take down Confederate statues following civil unrest across the nation. Bastrop 5 member Madeline Eden said the county was not comfortable with the idea at first but after advocates rallied and spoke up at public hearings, the commissioners listened to the people.

RELATED: NASCAR bans display of Confederate flag at races and tracks

RELATED: Marine Corps bans display of Confederate flag

“They initially did not want to entertain the idea of removal or relocation,” said Eden. “We were told by the county judge initially that this was something he wasn’t going to even consider.”

The statues, an obelisk erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1910 and a granite stone memorializing Confederate soldier and former Texas Governor Joseph D. Sayers, will be relocated. Cheryl Reese, another member of Bastrop 5, said it was always their intention to relocate instead of tearing down the monuments.

“We wanted to make sure that we were respectful of other people's history just like we are asking them to be respectful of ours,” said Reese. 


Get breaking news alerts in the FOX 7 Austin News app. It is FREE!

Download for iOS or Android


Lee and Reese agree they hope the removal of the monuments will help spark conversation about race and inspire others to stand up for what they believe in. “Understand that one voice can make a difference,” said Reese. “One voice can have an idea and get together with friends and bring it to fruition.”

Bastrop County is forming a relocation committee to determine where they will place the monuments.