Input sought on Arkansas' new monument protection law
Why it matters: Some of the historical monuments the legislation seeks to protect celebrate the Confederacy. Many see these as embracing the violent, racist ideology that drove the Civil War.
- Calls for the removal of Confederate monuments have gained momentum across the country since the murder of George Floyd in 2020.
Context: The act became law in April. It prohibits removal, relocation, alteration or renaming of a memorial on public property.
- Public entities can petition for a waiver if the monument will be moved or relocated for more than 60 days.
Driving the news: Arkansas Heritage drafted the rules that would provide guidelines for how the Historical Monument Protection Act is executed.
- The rules outline a waiver process, define what an historical monument is and provide guidance on preservation of monuments.
- The public has until February 17 to provide comments.
In September 2020, a 112-year old monument of a generic Confederate soldier was removed from the downtown Bentonville square.
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