This essay is a comment on an article by Jess Phelps and Jessica Owley, Etched in Stone: Historic Preservation Law and Confederate Monuments, published last year by the Florida Law Review. Contrary to their claims, historic preservation law does not seriously impede the removal or contextualization of Confederate memorials. The tangled and toxic heritage they signify does. The law rather creates the context within which parties contend about the meaning and continuing value of these monuments. Preservation law is not so much “etched in stone,” as a living requirement that we collectively, carefully address what remnants of the past to retain and what to discard.
Scholarly Commons Citation
Byrne, J. Peter, "Stone Monuments and Flexible Laws: Removing Confederate Monuments Through Historic Preservation Laws" (2020). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. 2289.