Standing Mississippi law protects historical monuments

Published: May. 25, 2017 at 4:44 PM CDT
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As some states are tearing Confederate monuments down, others are creating laws to protect historical monuments. Mississippi lawmakers made a decision on that five years ago.

According to the Mississippi law, no statue, monument, memorial, or landmark from any war can be removed from a public property unless it's being moved to another approved location or if it blocks visibility for drivers.

Rep. John Moore of Rankin County says he believes in this law, not because these monuments need to be celebrated, but to be learned from.

"That's one of the things about history," said Moore. "If we cease to learn from it and don't have reminders, we are doomed to repeat it."

During the last legislative season, some lawmakers tried strengthening the law to include a $10,000 fine and up to six months in jail for those who violated it. But that failed to pass.

"Over the years, people have tried to change those statutes, to make them harder or loosen them up," said Moore. "And, you know, I don't really see us making any changes in the law this year though I'm sure there will be an attempt just because of the recent situation. But I don't see us changing. We have a fairly tight law now."

There are no penalties for those who want to try to change the law.

Gov. Phil Bryant released a statement Thursday saying he would be opposed to any effort to remove historic monuments or landmarks of any kind.