Controversial Confederate plaque to be removed from Texas Capitol

The decision to remove a Confederate plaque was made by members of the State Preservation Board.

It's an exclusive five person group dominated by Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen. Among those who crowded into the meeting room Friday morning was state Rep. Eric Johnson. 

"That plaque was a perfect illustration of what we call the Lost Cause mythology,” said Rep. Johnson.

The Dallas Democrat has spent more than a year calling for the plaque to be pulled down.

Throughout the day people came by and took pictures before it becomes a blank spot. "To a large degree they were successful. For 60 years that plaque has stood there, Democrats and Republicans alike have walked past it and no one has been able to take it down, or so moved to do so, I'm glad it's down now but I think we have to ask ourselves to a certain degree, why it took 60 years to do this,” said Representative Johnson.

The Children of the Confederacy Creed was mounted along a capitol hallway, on the northeast side of the rotunda, in 1959. It was done to promote "the truths of history," according to the organization that had it made. The main reason it was targeted for removal is the inaccurate declaration that, "the war between the states was not a rebellion, nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery."

Friday morning, those words were never mentioned when the vote was taken.

No one objected to the motion to remove the plaque.

Abbott and Patrick left without making comment. Speaker Bonnen, as he walked out, did say he was proud of what they did. Johnson was also happy, but he did voice a concern.

"I'm pleased with the result, I don't want to be coy about that, I am pleased with the result, but I'm processing what it means there was no discussion whatsoever about the significance of what we were doing, or what the meaning of what we were doing was,” said Rep. Johnson.

A spokesperson with the State Preservation Board said they are still working on the details for the removal, and for where it will go after it is taken down. The outbreak of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia two years ago put the national spotlight on Confederate monuments.

The vote Friday had nothing to do with the Confederate monuments on the Texas capitol grounds. But Representative Johnson is hopeful the vote will help further discussions about the monuments and about why they were built.