Rep. Anthony Brown on Friday introduced a bill to remove the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg.
The announcement was timed to coincide with the 155th anniversary of the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, the first field engagement in the Eastern Theater of the Civil War.
“Public land should not be home to symbols of hate and bigotry that memorialize leaders of the pro-slavery, traitorous Confederate South,” Brown said in a statement. “Statues and monuments ought to celebrate the brave individuals who have fought and died for our country and true American values. The statue of Lee commemorates a man that owned and beat African Americans, and fought to preserve the institution of slavery. The statue is historically inaccurate and offensive, and I am looking forward to its timely removal.”
If passed, the Robert E. Lee Statue Removal Act requires the secretary of the interior to develop a plan to remove the monument within 90 days of passage, and submit a publicly available report to Congress on the plan and timeline within 120 days.