Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What should replace Lee Circle?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 1:27 PM

click image Lee Circle in 2010. - FW_GADGET/FLICKR
  • FW_GADGET/FLICKR
  • Lee Circle in 2010.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, in his remarks to a meeting on racial reconciliation, said it's time the city begin to think about "what we're going to put" in Lee Circle, where a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee has stood since the late 1800s. On Twitter, Landrieu said, "Today is the day to start the discussion on replacing the Robert E. Lee monument as we approach #NOLA's 300th anniversary. ... Symbols matter — must ask if prominent city symbols reflect who we are today or if they ever really reflected who we were. ... We should replace divisive monuments & symbols w/ones that reflect unity, hope and our bright future as a city."

Last week's racially motivated shooting in Charleston, S.C. that killed nine people in a historic African Methodist Episcopal Church has invigorated debate over the presence of racially linked monuments and symbols across the U.S., from street names and school dedications to the Confederate flag on public buildings. Today, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley ordered the flag be taken down from the state's capitol, following similar moves in other southern states. (Gov. Bobby Jindal told ABC News that removing the flag is up to the states.) There's also a petition with more than half a million signatures demanding to take down the Confederate flag from government buildings.

Earlier this week, a hashtag — #LeeCircleReplacement — produced a few ideas. In keeping the Lee name as to avoid address changes, there was Lee (Dorsey) Circle and Harry Lee Circle, or, simply, back to Tivoli Circle. (Or, as a tribute to True Detective, Time Is A Flat Circle.)

And then there are other prominent Confederate landmarks in the city, including a statue at City Park and Esplanade Avenue of general P.G.T. Beauregard and prominent streets named after Confederate president Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. Many people have suggested renaming them after New Orleans musicians.

What are your ideas?

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