Pelosi Statement on Removal of Robert E. Lee Statue from the U.S. Capitol

December 21, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement on the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from the crypt of the United States Capitol, where it had been stored prior to its removal and replacement with a statue of Barbara Johns of Virginia:

“The removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee and its forthcoming replacement by a tribute to Barbara Johns, a civil rights pioneer and pride of Virginia, is welcome news.  The halls of Congress are the very heart of our Democracy, and the statues within the Capitol should embody our highest ideals as Americans.

“That is why, in my first term as House Speaker, under the leadership of Democrats in Congress, we relocated the Robert E. Lee statue out of a place of honor in National Statuary Hall, where a statue of Rosa Parks now proudly stands.  And it is why we have worked to remove other symbols of hate in the Capitol and across our country, including by passing legislation this summer to remove statues of Confederate officials and other representatives of bigotry from the Capitol and by beginning the process of renaming military bases and infrastructure named after Confederate leaders through this year’s National Defense Authorization Act.

“The Congress will continue our work to rid the Capitol of homages to hate, as we fight to end the scourge of racism in our country.  There is no room for celebrating the bigotry of the Confederacy in the Capitol or any other place of honor in our country.”