Inventory of Confederate & Segregationist Symbols
In September 2020, the Board of Supervisors initiated an inventory of Confederate and segregationist symbols in Loudoun County. At a subsequent meeting, on December 15, 2020, the Board approved the creation of an inventory of Confederate and segregationist symbols in Loudoun County.
Members of the public were invited to participate in an informational informal inventory of roads, buildings, signs and other public infrastructure that memorialize Confederate and segregationist figures or history in Loudoun County by submitting such sites through an online mapping tool.
The county’s expansive geography, combined with its complex history from the Civil War through desegregation, required a comprehensive research effort to identify these objects and sites. By involving the public as well as local historians and community groups, the county sought to inventory all possible Confederate and segregationist symbols throughout Loudoun. In addition to the public input tool, county staff worked with community groups to identify these items.
An online map and survey provided an opportunity for the public to submit information about items potentially named after or memorializing Confederate or segregationist figures, symbols and slogans in Loudoun County, including:
- County-owned and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)-owned road or street names
- Markers or monuments
- Other names or symbols in public spaces
Schools and school mascots were not included in this inventory as Loudoun County Public Schools is currently conducting an independent review of these items. The inventory was also limited to public items that memorialize a Confederate leader, the Confederate cause, or individuals or movements that promoted and implemented racial segregation laws in Virginia during the eras of Jim Crow (1896-1965) and Massive Resistance to desegregation (1954-1959).
The Board of Supervisors, at its July 6, 2021 meeting, reviewed the inventory prepared by the Department of Planning and Zoning.
View video of the July 6 board presentation.
After its review, the Board directed county staff to
- Develop a timeline, public engagement process and cost estimates to implement changes to the Confederate and Segregationist symbols items already submitted by the public, names of public roads within Loudoun County, and Loudoun County facilities and report back to the Board with this information by September 2021;
- Remove the name of Kephart Bridge Landing and direct staff from Parks, Recreation, and Community Services to submit a new name for the landing. Kephart Bridge Landing is a canoe and kayak launch facility located within Elizabeth Mills Riverfront Park. It was named for George Kephart (1795-1870) who was an agent for Armfield and Franklin (later Price, Birch & Co) in Alexandria, Virginia from 1836 to at least 1858. It was the largest slave trading enterprise in the nation, and Kephart became wealthy in the interstate slave trade not only as an agent of the company but also as the owner of the Duke Street slave pens and a slave ship, the Isaac Franklin. Kephart owned both Coton and Belmont Plantations for a period of time, owning land along the Potomac River and the Leesburg to Alexandria Turnpike, crucial to his business of transporting the enslaved from port to port.
- Obtain cost estimates from consultants to conduct further research on any building names that may not have been included in the inventory of Confederate and Segregationist symbols and bring back that research back to the Board by September 2021.
- September 15, 2020 Board of Supervisors Meeting: Review of Confederate and Segregationist Symbols in Loudoun County
- December 15, 2020: Response to Board Member Initiative: Review of Confederate and Segregationist Symbols in Loudoun County
- December 15, 2020: Review of Confederate and Segregationist Symbols in Loudoun County Board Presentation
- May 18, 2021: Board of Supervisors Meeting: Response to Board Member Initiative (PDF): Proposed Process and Cost Estimate for Renaming Harry Byrd Highway (Route 7) and John Mosby Highway (Route 50)
- July 6, 2021: Board of Supervisors Meeting: Response to Board Member Initiative (PDF): Inventory of Confederate and Segregationist Symbols in Loudoun County