Confederate Monument Removed from Decatur Square

Obelisk stood for 112 years

June 19, 2020
Crews assemble to begin removal of the Lost Cause Confederate monument in Decatur GA on June 18 2020

(Photo Credit: Jeannie Johnson)

It is the first Confederate monument to come down in Georgia, according to Atlanta Civil Rights and defense attorney Mawuli Davis. 

A crowd gathered to witness the removal of the Confederate monument in Decatur Square
(Photo Credit: Jeannie Johnson)

A crowd started gathering before 11 o’clock Thursday night to witness the use of cranes to start the removal of the so-called “Lost Cause” monument in Decatur Square. It’s in downtown Decatur, a suburb of Atlanta.

Davis says it took all of the organizations and “the people who have marched and protested” to make it happen.  He calls it “a people’s victory.”

The top of the obelisk, Davis adds, “was rolling out just as Juneteenth was coming in.” Juneteenth, June 19, is the commemoration of the ending of slavery in the U.S.

The top of the Confederate monument in Decatur Square was the first portion removed
(Photo Credit: Jeannie Johnson)

Those gathered in Decatur Square celebrated the moment with a champagne toast.

The bottom of the monument was expected be removed through the night and to be totally gone by Friday morning. It stood for 112 years after being hoisted in 1908.

On July 12, DeKalb County Judge Clarence Seeliger ordered that the monument be removed and placed in storage by June 26.

Those gathered shared a champagne toast when the top of the Confederate monument was dismantled
(Photo Credit: Jeannie Johnson)

The order was in response to a complaint by the City of Decatur that the 30-foot four-sided pointed pillar was a threat to the safety of the public during protests about police violence and racism toward African Americans. It was called a ‘public nuisance’.

It’s part of the nationwide movement to remove Confederate symbols and monuments. In Georgia, supporters of the statue and monument removals say the relics honor the state’s racist past.

Crews worked into the night to remove the Confederate monument from Decatur Square
(Photo Credit: Jeannie Johnson)

Davis says “it’s the blood that has been shed by so many that has led to this.”