AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott agreed Friday to remove a plaque in the state Capitol that rejects slavery as the underlying cause of the Civil War, bending after years of resistance by state Republican leaders in the face of Confederate monuments falling nationwide.
A unanimous vote by the State Preservation Board, which Abbott chairs, ordered the removal of the 60-year-old plaque that pledges to teach “the truths of history … “one of the most important of which is that the war between the states was not a rebellion, nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery.”
The plaque is among nearly a dozen Confederate markers in and around the Texas Capitol. It’s the first slated to come down since the deadly 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to the removal of a string of Confederate monuments nationwide.
Abbott and state leaders resisted acting on similar calls in Texas, and he made no comment after Friday’s vote. Texas Republicans had been resolute after the Charlottesville rally that tearing down Confederate markers wouldn’t change history, but pressure intensified after a black lawmaker from Dallas began condemning the plaque, which hangs near his Capitol office, as historically indefensible.