Arizona relocates 2 Confederate monuments on state land

The Associated Press

Associated Press

PHOENIX — Two Confederate monuments on Arizona state property, including one at the Capitol, have been removed.

Megan Rose, spokeswoman for the Arizona Department of Administration, confirmed Thursday morning that the memorials were taken overnight and returned to the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

It was the organization that made the request to remove them. They were in need of repair "but due to the current political climate, we believe it is unwise to repair them where they are located," the Arizona chapters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy wrote in a letter to the department.

The Confederate monument outside the statehouse, erected in the 1960s, honors Arizonans who fought for the South. Last month, it was vandalized with red paint. 

The other monument is located on U.S. Highway 60 near Gold Canyon, marking the Jefferson Davis Highway honoring the Confederate president. 

They were moved to private property at no cost to the state, according to Rose. 

The monuments are the latest Confederate markers to fall since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis police custody in May. The video of his death sparked protests globally and prompted a renewed focus on racism in the United States. 

At least 63 other Confederate statues, monuments or markers have been removed from public land across the country since Floyd's death, according to an Associated Press tally. Most were removed by government officials, though protesters have toppled some.

It's not just monuments that are under scrutiny. The Phoenix City Council has taken initial steps to rename a street named for Robert E. Lee, the commander of the Confederate army. A marker still stands at Picacho Peak north of Tucson dedicated to Confederate soldiers who defended the area during a skirmish touted as the westernmost battle of the Civil War. 

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