Document Type


Publication Date



This Article develops a Thirteenth Amendment theory supporting the removal of Confederate symbols from government properties. It argues that such monuments to the Lost Cause are badges of slavery that should have no place in public squares.

The Article discusses how white supremacist groups, such as those who participated in the 2017 Unite the Right March in Charlottesville, effectively draw together around monuments honoring leaders and soldiers who fought for the cause of slavery. Relying on the Thirteenth Amendment's principles of freedom, States and municipalities can and should eliminate those monuments from their properties. Such policy initiatives communicate the government's disapproval of secession's racist premises and advance the nation's commitment to equal liberty untainted by the Confederacy's peculiar institution.