Good news from Texas!
In May 2000, while the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) were in "good faith negotiations" with the Governor’s Office and the NAACP, the original dedicatory plaques were removed from the walls of the Texas Supreme Court building in Austin. The original plaques, per a modification of the Texas Constitution, were emplaced because the funds to build the Supreme Court building and most of the other government buildings in Austin came from the ‘Confederate widows and orphans pension fund’. In the 1950’s that fund was bloated due to the reducing number of recipients in the State. It was declared in the legislation to divert the pension funds that the first building completed would be dedicated to the men and women who served the Confederate cause when called by the State of Texas.
Just prior to the removal of the plaques, the Texas Division SCV was working with the Governor’s office and the NAACP to develop an ‘explanatory’ plaque in order to meet the complaint of the President of the NAACP. However, the original plaques were removed after hours on a Friday night by orders from the Governor’s office and replaced with the plaques that currently are on the walls of the building. It was and is the opinion of the Texas Division of the SCV that this act was morally and ethically. The replacement plaques talk of the building’s dedication in the ‘past tense’ as if the People of today are ashamed of the service of our Texas ancestors. I assure you that this is, for the most part, an incorrect assessment of the People of this State today. Equally important, the fact that replacement plaques were already manufactured belies the ‘good faith’ nature of the negotiations in 2001.
I am most pleased with the decision by the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals this past Friday afternoon. The fact that the court orders the State to pay the legal fees of the SCV is the clearest indicator of the correctness of the SCV’s case. The SCV will now immediately begin working with the Texas Historical Commission to have the original plaques returned to their rightful place on the walls of the Supreme Court.