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State Rep. wants plaque at Texas Capitol honoring Confederacy to come down

Down a little hallway on the north side of the Texas Capitol, there's a plaque called the "Children of Confederacy Creed." (CBS Austin)

Down a little hallway on the north side of the Texas Capitol, there's a plaque called the "Children of Confederacy Creed." It honors the Confederate Army and says,

We, therefore, pledge ourselves to preserve pure ideals; to honor our veterans; to study and 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), and to always act in a manner that will reflect honor upon our noble and patriotic ancestors.

This week, State Representative Eric John, (D) Dallas, wrote a letter to the State Preservation Board, asking for the plaque to be brought down, because the plaque is not historically accurate to any legitimate Civil War historian.

So I asked one.

"The thinking in 1861 was that slavery necessitated secession. And secession led to the start of the Civil War," said UT professor Walter Buenger. He is also the head of the Texas State Historical Association and wrote a book on the secession.

"What they were was attempts to sort of construct a memory," said Professor Buenger, of the Confederate markers all over the country. He says most were put up between 1890s and 1920, long after the Civil War.

Friday, former Capitol worker Robin White stopped by the plaque to take a picture. He discovered the plaque tucked away in the hallway two years ago, when he still worked there. "I was very surprised to see this here and I think in retrospect it's just as if they were trying to convince themselves of something they didn't really believe," he said. "I would like to see a big sign next to it that says this was a big mistake."

The Children of the Confederacy Creed plaque went up in 1959, nearly 100 years after the Civil War. Professor Buenger says it's not really about the Confederacy. "That's a reflection of 1959," he said. "It most likely reflects something about resistance to Brown v Board of Education and the end of a Jim Crow system." Professor Buenger believes it's time the plaque came down. "It's wrong. Take it down and put it in a museum."

Representative Johnson also said in his letter that it is time to start talking about removing all Confederate markers from the Capitol.

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