A Confederate statue was removed from a park in Jacksonville, Florida after an order from the city’s mayor.
The monument, titled ‘Tribute to the Women of the Southern Confederacy’, was erected at Springfield Park in Jacksonville in 1915. In June of 2020, Lenny Curry (mayor of Jacksonville at the time) ordered the removal of a Confederate statue and plaque from a neighboring park. The decision came merely a month after the death of George Floyd, which caused mass protests across the United States and the world. At the same time, calls to remove the statue in Springfield Park were also made, but no decision was reached at the time.
However, the current mayor Donna Degan has now successfully removed the statue from its location. Early estimates suggested that the cost of removal of the statue might reach $2 million. However, the mayor’s office revealed that the actual cost stood at just $137,000. The funds for the removal came from donations to a local organization, 904WARD. The entire process of the statue removal was televised on local television.
Mayor Degan said that the removal of the statue was not an attempt to erase history, but rather to show that they have learned from it. She said: “Symbols matter. They tell the world what we stand for and what we aspire to be. By removing the Confederate monument from Springfield Park, we signal a belief in our shared humanity. That we are all created equal.”
Not everyone was happy with the mayor’s decision. It was most prominently criticized by Dean Black, chair of the Republican Party in the area and representative from Florida. Black said: “Choosing to erase our history is not “brave” – it is a cowardly act done by a lawless Mayor who hides under the cover of night! We call on the City Council to seek immediate accountability – the people of Jacksonville expect no less.” However, the mayor’s office clarified that since the mayor did not use the city’s funds, she had exclusive executive authority to sign such a decision.