Posted on October 24, 2019

‘Johnny Reb’ No Longer Welcome in Norfolk: Virginia City Gets OK to Move Confederate Statue

John Bacon, USA Today, October 23, 2019

The Virginia city of Norfolk has the right to move its “Johnny Reb” Confederate statue from a busy downtown intersection to a local cemetery, the state attorney general and a local prosecutor have determined.

Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Gregory Underwood filed court papers late Tuesday saying his office and the office of Attorney General Mark Herring have determined the statue, dedicated in 1907, is technically exempt from a state law banning the removal of monuments to war veterans.

The law, which dates back to 1904, banned counties from moving such memorials. It was updated in 1997 to include cities in the ban. Underwood says the city would only be governed by the law if the statue were built after 1997.

He adds that neither his nor Herring’s office have any interest in stopping the city from moving the eight-story monument, which features a Confederate soldier atop a pedestal. {snip}


In Norfolk, Mayor Kenny Alexander told the Virginian-Pilot he would leave details of the monument’s move to city staff.

“I think the city has been very clear that the statue should be in either a museum or park or cemetery where persons who want to continue to pay their respects to the Confederate dead will have that opportunity,” Alexander said. {snip}