NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk’s Confederate monument could be removed from downtown as soon as August.

The city’s holding a public hearing on July 7 about the plan to move the 80-foot-tall monument, days after a new state law goes into effect July 1 that allows localities in Virginia to remove, relocate or contextualize their Confederate monuments.

Under the law, private organizations such as museums will have a 30-day window from the hearing to submit a plan of their own before Norfolk can make a move, which could come August 7.

After the 30-day period, Norfolk could decide to give the monument to an outside group or move it to Elmwood.

The long contentious symbol has been tagged by graffiti in recent protests against police brutality and racial inequities, as calls are mounting to remove Confederate statues through the South. Alexandria, Virginia, and Birmingham, Alabama have done so in recent days.

Norfolk has wanted to move “Johnny Reb” to a nearby Elmwood Cemetery since 2017, voting after the “Unite the Right” rally to do so once given approval by the state. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has since said he won’t prevent the removal of the monument, but Norfolk said previous legal issues prevented them from doing so.

Watch the June 2 City Council discussion here.

WAVY will continue to follow the latest developments.

Latest News