June 2, 2020

Vandalized Monuments

Tuesday Treasures: Here we see a Confederate Monument in Luray with its base shrouded. I checked out the news there and it seems two monuments were vandalized early Monday morning. Some of the paint was removed and then then the bases were covered to keep the remaining paint from setting before it can be removed.

As you might imagine, there are many Confederate monuments in Virginia, a state that saw more battles than any other state. After 150 years passed, many people felt the veneration of the Confederacy needed to end. Some saw the monuments as a symbol of the racism that still poisons our social fabric.

WHSV-TV reported that "The graffiti included profanity targeted at police officers and the Antifa movement, as well as anarchist symbols." Also they quote the town's police chief as saying the vandalism was likely in response to the George Floyd protests happening across the country, though there were no large-scale protests in the town. He added that the actions of officers in Minneapolis do not reflect the values of the Luray Police Department.

This monument was created by noted sculptor Herbert Barbee.

This other Confederate Monument is near the center of town. The back-story of why there are two Confederate monuments is intriguing. Apparently Barbee's statue (above) was not popular with local veterans, possibly because it portrayed the soldier in ragged clothing and with his rifle not in proper position. The sculptor based it on a soldier he saw in his youth, a sentry standing in the snow with the barrel of his rifle slanting downward to keep the snow out.

I'm including a picture taken from the other side because it shows the tarps more clearly.

Meanwhile, my original hometown finally had its Confederate monument removed, not by the city but by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. They were the owners and they did not want it to be vandalized. Personally I am happy that they removed it because it caused arguments for years, plus it was a traffic hazard due to its placement.

I see that in 2018 the United Daughters of the Confederacy stated that they "totally denounces any individual or group that promotes racial divisiveness or white supremacy. And we call on these people to cease using Confederate symbols for their abhorrent and reprehensible purposes."


  1. ...Confederate are a part of history, but they don't belong in public spaces, they belong in museum settings. The history of Civil War, Jim Crow and lynchings need to be explained in their proper setting and not as the glorification of white supremacy. Now I'll get off my soap box, thanks Linda.

  2. Hello,
    I just wish for peace, non-violent and non-destructive protests. Wishing you a happy day and week ahead!

  3. I'm glad to hear of some Confederate statues being removed. If only racism could be erased from the minds and hearts of so many people.

  4. That last paragraph, with the quote is heartening . I am glad you included it. That’s how it should be, they honor their ancestors (who ‘joined up’ because they thought it was the right thing to do), while acknowledging that we now understand the wrong of it and that times change. Kudos to those ladies for their courage in view of the number of people who still want to cling to the past.

  5. the monuments are an ode to the past, part of history!! praying for world peace!!!

  6. Thank you for a very thought provoking post Linda, and I was very interested in reading the comments. This is all very much on our minds with what is going on right now. I was glad to read what the police chief said.

  7. I agree with Tom. Aside from cenotaphs, Confederate symbols belong in a museum.


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