The State Preservation Board voted this morning to remove a Confederate plaque from the Capitol that was placed there 60 years ago.
The six-member board – made up of the governor, lieutenant governor, house speaker, one state senator, one state representative and a member of the public – voted unanimously for its removal in a meeting Friday morning that last barely five minutes without remarks.
The Children of the Confederacy plaque, which details the group’s creed, has been called historically inaccurate by members of both parties. Three of the board’s Republican members, Gov. Greg Abbott, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and State Rep. Jeff Leach, had called for its removal.
One of the major reasons cited against it was a statement in the creed that said, “the war between the states was not a rebellion nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery."
You’re right, @JohnsonForTexas. The plaque should never have been installed - and it has been there for far too long. We celebrate because today is the day that ends. And there’s no mistaking: it’s a day that happened because of your commitment & leadership. Congrats, my friend. https://t.co/ueEIxdpwyl— Jeff Leach (@leachfortexas) January 11, 2019
Leach, a Republican from Plano, was the board member who motioned for the plaque’s removal.
"This inaccurate plaque is a historical abomination — and I am happy to know that it will no longer have a home in the Texas Capitol," Leach said after the meeting, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Democrats have criticized the plaque for years, but it drew significant attention when state Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, began the process toward its removal last year. The plaque sits just outside his Capitol office. Prior to that, former House Speaker Joe Straus sent a letter in 2017 to Abbott saying he also believed it should be removed.
"This is really not a time to pat ourselves on the back," Johnson told the Morning News Friday morning. "I'm glad that the Preservation Board ultimately decided to remove it. But, again, 60 years is a long time for a blatant lie to sit in the state Capitol like that."