BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Former lieutenant governor and current Maryland congressman Anthony Brown commemorated the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam with a call to remove a Robert E. Lee statue from Antietam National Battlefield.
The National Park Service-protected battlefield is in Sharpsburg, Maryland.
“Public land should not be home to symbols of hate and bigotry that memorialize leaders of the pro-slavery, traitorous Confederate South,” Brown said in a statement.
“Statues and monuments ought to celebrate the brave individuals who have fought and died for our country and true American values. The statue of Lee commemorates a man that owned and beat African Americans, and fought to preserve the institution of slavery. The statue is historically inaccurate and offensive, and I am looking forward to its timely removal.”
Brown’s introduction of the Robert E. Lee Statue Removal Act comes after weeks of similar statue and monument removals across the country, including locally in Baltimore, Annapolis and Ellicott City.
Those were in the wake of a demonstration that turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia in early August. A group of white nationalists gathered in the central Virginia city to protest plans to remove a Lee statue in a park there.
Things turned bloody when 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car through a group of counter-demonstrators.
Heather Heyer, 32, was killed as she crossed the street. Several more people were injured.
According to Brown’s release, the 24-foot Lee statue at Antietam was dedicated in 2003, 138 years after the end of the Civil War. Though it was commissioned and placed by a private citizen on private land, the National Park Service acquired the property in 2005, making the plot the statue rests on federally-owned.
Rep. John K. Delaney and Rep. Jamie Raskin are co-sponsoring the bill.