The Texas Capitol's ahistorical Children of the Confederacy plaque is finally coming down after a unanimous State Preservation Board vote Friday morning.
The plaque, which features the "Children of the Confederacy Creed," has long been a source of controversy at the Capitol. Over the last year, Democratic Dallas state Rep. Eric Johnson has led the charge to have it removed, eventually picking up support from key Republicans, including Gov. Greg Abbott and new Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen. Abbott and Bonnen both sit on the board.
Johnson celebrated the board's decision Friday but questioned why the plaque has hung around the Capitol for so long.
"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," Johnson said after the vote. "The plaque should never have been put up by the Legislature in the first place, and it certainly shouldn’t have taken 60 years to remove it. And that’s on Republicans and Democrats alike, to be perfectly honest.”
The creed featured on the plaque, installed with the permission of Gov. Price Daniel in 1959, is the epitome of lost-cause claptrap. It honors the "heroic deeds of those who enlisted in the Confederate Army" and pledges that the children of the Confederacy will study and teach the truths of history, "one of the most important of which is that the war between the states was not a rebellion nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery."
Texas' 1861 declaration of secession makes it clear that the statements made in the creed are false.
"[Texas] was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery — the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits — a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time," the declaration says.
According to the Texas Tribune, a spokesman for the board said the final details for when and how the plaque will be removed are still being worked out.
Plano Republican Jeff Leach, the Texas House's representative on the board, said the plaque's last day at the Capitol wasn't far off, according to the website.
“If I had a sledgehammer in my office, I’d go up there right now and remove it," Leach said. "But I’m told that’s not necessary as it will be removed very soon.”