AUSTIN - The University of Texas at Austin on Sunday morning
removed a statue of Jefferson Davis from its main mall, over the
objections and amid ongoing legal action by Confederate groups.
Students and others cheered as larger-than-life sized bronze
statue came down, just as the campus' historic clock tower stuck
10:15 a.m. Some even sang a few bars from fictitious band
Steam's "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye."
The move was made just days after a state District Judge Sarah
Crump shot down an attempt by the Sons of Confederate Veterans
to block the statues' removal. The removal took about an hour
and a half; it will be refurbished and relocated to the Dolph
Briscoe Center for American History, also on UT's campus.
Gregory Vincent, UT's Vice President for Diversity and
Community, called the moment "iconic."
"It really shows the power of student leadership," said Vincent,
who chaired a student-faculty task force that suggested either
removing or altering the statue. It, as well as several other
statues representing Confederate leaders, had been vandalized
several times over the years by individuals viewed it as a
representation of the South's heritage of slavery and racism.
Confederate groups will continue to fight the change, said their
attorney Kirk Lyons, who said the Sons of Confederate Veterans
will seek for Davis' statue to be put back or put in a more
prominent place on campus than at the Briscoe Center.
Lyons called the removal an "ISIS-style cleansing of history and
tradition from a so-called institution of higher learning," and
said as long as he is "above the ground" he and the SCV Texas
chapter will seek to have the statue put back in its original
The removal cost about $15,000. Austin-based company Vault Fine
Art Services was contracted to undertake the removal. A company
has not chosen, nor has a cost estimate been issued, for the
A statue of former President Woodrow Wilson will also be removed
to maintain symmetry on the mall. The campus has not yet decided
where to relocate the Wilson statue. Several other statues,
including those of Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Albert
Sydney Johnson, Confederate Postmaster General John Reagan and
James Hogg, the first native Texan to be elected governor, whose
father was a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army
will remain on the mall.