Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday she has ordered four paintings of Speakers who served in the confederacy to be removed from the U.S. Capitol.
During her weekly press conference, Pelosi said she has asked for the removal of paintings and that the removal will occur on Juneteenth. There are currently four paintings of House Speakers who served in the confederacy.
“There is no room in the hallowed halls of Congress or in any place of honor for memorializing men who embody the violent bigotry and grotesque racism of the Confederacy,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to the clerk of the House of Representatives, Cheryl Johnson, NBC News reported.
“We cannot honor men such as James Orr, who swore on the House Floor to ‘preserve and perpetuate’ slavery in order to ‘enjoy our property in peace, quiet and security,’ or Robert Hunter, who served at nearly every level of the Confederacy, including in the Confederate Provincial Congress, as Confederate Secretary of State, in the Confederate Senate and in the Confederate Army,” Pelosi’s letter reads. “The portraits of these men are symbols that set back our nation’s work to confront and combat bigotry.” (RELATED: Pelosi Calls For Removal Of Confederate Statues From U.S. Capitol)
There are still a number of statues of men with connection to the confederacy on display in the capitol. North Carolina sent a statue of Zebulon Vance to be displayed, Florida sent a statue of Edmund Kirby Smith, the last Confederate general to surrender, Alabama sent a statue of Confederate cavalryman Joseph Wheeler, South Carolina sent a statue of Wade Hampton, Georgia sent a statue of Confederate vice president Alexander Stephens. In 1931, Mississippi chose both Confederate president Jefferson Davis and Confederate colonel James Z. Georg, according to The Washington Post.
In 2017 Pelosi called for the monuments to be removed and asked then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan for his support. The monuments are still standing in the Capitol.