Debate on Confederate Monument in Texarkana Has Increased Petition Drives

Currently at least three petitions are running online concerning the Confederate Mothers Monument in downtown Texarkana

Texarkana, USA: At least three petitions are currently online concerning the Confederate Mothers Monument near the federal courthouse and post office. One petition calls for the monument to be removed and placed in a museum for study and history, a Texas side petition calls for the monument to remain, and a third is for Arkansas side residents requesting the monument to stay.

The petition from Black Lives Matter Texarkana has requested that the monument be moved to a museum, cemetery where Confederate soldiers are buried or in another area out of the “public square.” The petition is being prepared to be presented to the City of Texarkana, Texas. The petition also recommends a possible plaque to be placed at the monument’s current location to show historical context. It is currently being shared on social media. The petition requesting the removal from downtown may be found online at https://blmtexarkana.org/petitions-monument-petition/

The two petitions requesting that the monument be left at its current location are trending on social media and have been started on the website Change.org. There was one petition that started that Change removed when it reached 2500 signatures. The petition directly requests that the monument remain at its current location and not be removed. The Texas side petition can be found at: Change.org The Arkansas side petition can be found online at the Change site as well at: Change.org

In addition to the petitions, both sides have encouraged supporters to call city officials and express their views. Both sides have also had open talks and discussions during a protest event and online. While some tempers have sparked, overall citizens of Texarkana have remained polite and civil in the discussions.

The Confederate Mothers Monument was placed in Texarkana on April 21, 1918. According to newspaper articles at the time, both Texarkana Arkansas and Texas mayors accepted the monument. Texarka,na, Texas had pointed out recently that the documents place the land and monument in a trust between the two cities and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Since the named chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy is no longer active, it is unclear if their stake in the location and monument would go to a new chapter or would revert back to the national organization. Texarkana,, Texas has maintained the monument property for several years. Texarkana Arkansas officials have stated they have no voice in the monument’s status; however, it was not clarified whether this was from a review of the original trust or some change that has been put in place since the 1918 dedication. According to r,ecords the monument is believed to be the only Confederate monument in Texas featuring a woman. Monuments to the Confederacy traditionally face the north. Wikipedia and Wayfaring indicate that the Confederate Mothers Monument faces the north, however, the inscription, woman, and solider on the top clearly face the south. With the history and strong opinions of both sides of the debate, it will likely take a great deal of discussion, compromise, and planning to determine if any action will be taken regarding the monument.

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