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State Preservation Board votes to remove Confederate plaque from Texas Capitol

In this Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, photo, a Confederate plaque is displayed near the Rotunda in the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

UPDATE: On Friday, the State Preservation Board voted to remove the Children of the Confederacy Creed plaque from the Texas Capitol.

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The Children of the Confederacy Creed plaque has hung in a narrow hallway in the Texas Capitol for sixty years. The State Preservation Board could change that Friday, with lots of different entities and people chiming in.

"The Travis County Historical Commission felt that it needed to make its opinion known," said spokesman Hector Nieto. "This plaque is inaccurate, it gives a false impression that the Civil War was not about slavery."

The commission is taking the extraordinary step of writing letters to the State Preservation Board, the Texas Historical Commission and the Texas Attorney General, asking for the plaque's removal. The commission usually only deals with county property, not state property. "This is a unique situation but it's an important situation," Nieto said.

There are others joining the commission in supporting the removal of the plaque. "We're hoping that this particular plaque will be a beginning to clearing up some errors and misconceptions," said lead organizer of De-confederate Austin, Bryan Register. The group has been active with Austin City Council to rename streets, and AISD to rename schools bearing the names of Confederate heroes. Register plans to be at the State Preservation Board meeting, too.

This all got started in August 2017 -- when State Representative Eric Johnson of Dallas asked for the plaque to come down. He wrote in a letter to the board that it was not just because the plaque falsely says that sustaining slavery was not a cause of the Civil War, but Johnson also wrote that white supremacy and treason are not Texas values. Rep. Johnson is a Democrat, but some Republicans, like Governor Greg Abbott have echoed the sentiment that the plaque should come down.

Nearly a year and a half later -- it's decision time. "Media reports make it seem very likely that they're going to take down the plaque," Register said.

De-confederate Austin also wants the State Preservation Board to also host events to educate people on the history of slavery, secession and the civil war.

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