Last May, Maryland’s House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones called for the removal of a plaque from the State House that commemorates both Union and Confederate soldiers. However, the State House Trust, the organization that administers the building, voted this month to keep the plaque.
Speakers Jones, the first African American to hold the position in Maryland, argued that the text on the plaque paints the Union and Confederate causes as morally equivalent. In a letter to the State House Trust, she wrote, “History clearly tells us there was a right and a wrong side of the Civil War. I believe it is our duty to ensure truth in history for what it is, not what some may have wished it to be.”
The text in question mentions that the Maryland Civil War Centennial Commission did not attempt to decide who was in the right and who was in the wrong during the war. Further, a Confederate battle flag crossed with a Union flag adorns the top of the plaque.
As a part of its decision to keep the plaque, the State House Trust has decided to replace the Confederate flag with the Maryland state flag. The language of the plaque will remain unchanged. Speaker Adrienne Jones responded to the decision by asking the Trust to consider again the message that this language sends to visitors of the State House.