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Posted on: November 10, 2021

Loudoun Board Moves to Eliminate Confederate and Segregationist Road Names

Image depicting roads named for Confederate figures

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has approved several measures to address, change or prohibit the current and future naming of county roads after Confederate or segregationist figures or symbols or slogans. 

On November 3, 2021, the Board voted unanimously to make these changes. This action followed a yearlong Board-directed effort, with the help and input from county residents, to identify and catalogue Loudoun roads, buildings, signs and other public infrastructure that memorialize Confederate and segregationist figures, symbols or slogans. 

“Having a name on a road school or structure is an honor that should be reserved for a very select few,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis J. Randall. “People who supported the enslavement of others, who raped, beat, and sold human beings have not earned the right to have their names enshrined in perpetuity on a road or structure. I’m proud of the unanimous, bipartisan votes by my colleagues to right this wrong. This is a morally correct decision and sends the message that Loudoun is now and will continue to be a welcoming inclusive county.”

Loudoun County will now begin the process of renaming Jeb Stuart Road and Fort Johnston Road. Jeb Stuart Road, located in the Philomont area, has referenced Confederate General James Ewell Brown “Jeb” Stuart since 1962. Fort Johnston Road, just west of the Town of Leesburg, references a Civil War-era fort named for Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston.

Additionally, the Board initiated the process for amending the county’s General Naming Standards ordinance to include a section that prohibits using Confederate and segregationist names for future county roads and to pursue the renaming of existing or reserved street names that are in violation of these new criteria. 

The county will also engage the Town of Round Hill in a coordinated effort to rename streets identified in the inventory that are located within the Hillwood Estates subdivision, since these roads fall outside of Loudoun County’s jurisdiction.

Background

In September 2020, the county launched a comprehensive effort to identify objects and sites that memorialized Confederate leaders, 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). This effort involved the public as well as local historians and community groups.

A multi-departmental team, including staff from the Departments of Planning and Zoning and Transportation and Capital Infrastructure and the Office of Mapping and Geographic Information, provided the completed inventory to the Board in July 2021. More information is available on the Inventory of Confederate & Segregationist Symbols webpage.

This latest action by the Board of Supervisors is in addition to the current initiative to rename Route 7 and Route 50 in Loudoun County, which is being conducted as a separate process.

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