Blogs > Jim Loewen > What Does Rockville, Maryland's Confederate Monument Tell Us About the Civil War? About the Nadir? About the Present?tags: slavery, racism, Confederate flag
In 1913, the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) put a soldier on a pedestal in front of the Montgomery County courthouse in Rockville. Today this monument has something to teach us about three eras: what it's about, when it went up, and our present day (when, hopefully, it will come down).
Historical monuments play at least two roles in society. They may prompt us to remember the past, maybe even to learn more about our history. They can also distort our knowledge of the past and warp our view of the world. This essay examines the roles played by Montgomery County's Confederate monument in each of these eras.
What Does Rockville's Confederate Monument Teach About the Civil War?
This monument glorifies those who fought to keep African Americans in chains and many of whom, after Reconstruction, worked to put them back into second-class citizenship. It does not just memorialize the dead. It says that they were "our heroes, " Montgomery County's heroes. It also tells us how to think about the Confederate cause: we are "to love the thin grey line."