Democrats reintroduce legislation to remove remaining Confederate statues in U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON D.C. — There are thousands of unique pieces of art throughout the U.S. Capitol grounds.

Some of these pieces are in the National Statuary Hall Collection. There are 100 statues with two contributions from every state chosen by local legislatures.

Each statue representing historical figures including some with ties to the Confederacy.

The Architect of the Capitol said eleven Confederate statues remain on Capitol grounds today. This includes statues of Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and Alexander Hamilton Stephens of Georgia who served as president and vice president of the Confederacy.

“It’s a matter of really educating people so that they really understand how hurtful those symbols are,” said Rep. Alma Adams, (D) North Carolina.

Congresswoman Alma Adams represents the 12th district of North Carolina.

Both statues from her state are controversial. Zebulon Vance was a Confederate soldier who served in Congress and Charles Brantley Aycock was a former governor and a white supremacist from the late 1800s.

“It is very distressing to me to walk past going on my way to vote to walk past all of these statues that are symbolic of things that in my opinion are just not appropriate,” said Rep. Adams.

Currently North Carolina state leaders are working to replace Aycock’s statue with one of Reverend Billy Graham.

However, Congresswoman Adams wants more statues of women and African American trailblazers like civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Those of us who do know have a responsibility to help bring others along who don’t know,” said Rep. Adams.

Some Democrats are reintroducing legislation to remove the remaining Confederate statues on U.S. Capitol grounds. This comes after the House passed a similar bipartisan measure back in June 2021 but the bill didn’t make it out of the Senate.

At the time, many House Republicans supported removing some of the statues.

“We on this side of the aisle not only agree but we have been advocating for these very things for quite some time. In fact, as [for] Georgia’s statue, as I had advocated in times past for the removal of Alexander Stephens’ statue,” said Rep. Barry Loudermilk, (R ) Georgia during House floor comments on June 29, 2021.

However, some disagreed on how to do it and believe the states that selected them and not Congress should be making those choices.

“If the states that originally put those statues in here were the ones that asked that they be removed I think that would be much more appropriate than this act, this body taking action,” said Rep. Loudermilk.

Moving forward, Congresswoman Adams hopes future contributions to the collection are more diverse.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to so many people who made some significant contribution to our country,” she said.

The statue of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune from Florida is the first African American represented in the National Statuary Hall Collection. Bethune was an educator, civil and women’s rights leader.


-              Alexander Hamilton Stephens - GA

-              Crawford W. Long - GA

-              Wade Hampton III – SC

-              Jefferson Davis – MS

-              James Zachariah George – MS

-              John E. Kenna – WV

-              Joseph Wheeler – AL

-              Edward Douglass White – LA

-              Charles Brantley Aycock – NC

-              Zebulon Vance – NC

-              Uriah Milton Rose – AR

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