Virginia lawmakers pass bill to remove statue of Harry F. Byrd Sr. from Capitol Square

Posted at 2:24 PM, Feb 23, 2021

RICHMOND, Va. -- A bill to remove a statue of Harry F. Byrd Sr. from the grounds of Capitol Square is heading to the desk of Governor Ralph Northam.

HB 2208, introduced by Delegate Jay Jones (D-Norfolk), directs the Department of General Services to remove the statue of the former Virginia Governor and U.S. Senator.

Byrd was considered the architect of the state’s racist “massive resistance” policy to public school integration in the wake of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision.

The Virginia Senate passed the bill Tuesday after it received overwhelming support in the House last month.

“Racism and its symbols, obvious and subtle, have no place in this new Virginia decade,” said Delegate Jones. “Monuments to segregation, Massive Resistance, and the subjugation of one race below another, such as the Byrd statue, serve only as a reminder of the overt and institutional racism that has and continues to plague our Commonwealth. It’s long past time to bring them down, and I’m proud to be a voice to do just that.”

The legislation will now head to Northam’s desk for review.