Committee votes to remove Missouri Confederate monument

June 24, 2020 GMT

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — A monument in a southeast Missouri city honoring the Confederate States of America may soon be coming down.

The Cape Girardeau Historic Preservation Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to remove and store the 12 1/2-ton monument. Mayor Bob Fox had asked the commission for direction on the monument. The Southeast Missourian reported that the City Council will consider its removal on July 6.

The monument features a likeness of the Confederate flag and the initials “C.S.A.” above it. It has been the subject of two petition drives; one to remove it and one opposing its removal.

Confederate symbolism has come under increased scrutiny in the month since George Floyd’s death in Minnesota. Several statues and monuments across the U.S. have either been torn down by protesters or removed by jurisdictions.

The Cape Girardeau monument was originally erected in 1931 and moved to its current location in 1995.

Commissioner Lauren Clark called the marker a “symbol of oppression,” and commissioner Ken Markin suggested Confederates were “traitors” to the nation.

“There are no statues of which I’m aware to Benedict Arnold,” Markin said.