PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — For the second year in a row, Virginia has remained the leader in removing symbols and monuments relating to the Confederacy.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Whose Heritage? Public Symbols of the Confederacy report, which was released this month, Virginia removed 20 Confederate memorials in 2021.

Texas and Florida ranked second and third; they removed 15 and seven memorials, respectively. In total, 73 Confederate memorials were renamed, relocated or removed from public spaces in 2021.

Nationwide, 33 schools with names related to the Confederacy were renamed or closed in 2021. Thirteen of those were in Virginia.

There were also 24 memorials pending removal as of the date of the report; seven of them in Virginia.

“Across the country, Americans have become more aware of the Confederate memorials located in their public spaces. The momentum to remove, relocate and/or rename Confederate symbols continues to increase, and no state has done more to rid communities of these hateful symbols than Virginia,” the Southern Poverty Law Center said Thursday.

Still, there a more than 2,000 Confederate memorials still present in public spaces in the United States, 723 of which are monuments.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has been tracking Confederate memorials since 2015. Since that time, 377 Confederate symbols have been removed, renamed or relocated from public spaces.

Several events have pushed communities to reconsider having public Confederate symbols in the last seven years, including the Charleston Church massacre in 2015, the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville in 2017, and George Floyd’s murder in 2020.

In Virginia, a law went into effect July 1, 2020 that allows localities to remove, relocate, alter or cover monuments they own. The 60-plus-day process requires public hearings.

Between 2020 and 2021, some localities in the eastern Virginia region have either removed or plan to remove their Confederate statues, including Virginia BeachPortsmouthWilliamsburgNewport News, Franklin, Isle of Wight County, Surry, and Pasquotank County, North Carolina,

One of the most notable Virginia monuments to be removed in 2021 was the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond.

After a long battle in court over the monument’s fate, by the end of 2021 the Lee monument had been removed per an order from then-Gov. Ralph Northam.

If you know of a Confederate symbol in your area or would like to share an update, please send an email to confederateupdates@splcenter.org.