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Stoney Proposes Ban On Hate Symbols On City Property

Richmond City Hall
FILE PHOTO: Richmond City Hall (Crixell Matthews/VPM)

It’s been nearly a year since Richmond removed more than a dozen city-owned Confederate monuments and iconography, and Mayor Levar Stoney says he wants to ensure local government is never involved again in displaying symbols of hate.

Stoney introduced an ordinance to Richmond City Council Monday night that would ban “the sale or distribution of symbols of hate by the city.” The ordinance defines symbols of hate as including but not limited to symbols of white supremacy, neo-Nazi ideology and or the Confederate flag. 

On a press call Tuesday, Stoney said the ordinance is modeled after a similar New York state law.

“The city will not give space to people or beliefs that endanger the lives of Black people, and in doing so inhibit the healing process that our community so desperately needs,” he said.

Stoney argued that the ordinance is not vague or subjective, issues that could make it unenforceable or unconstitutional. 

The ordinance will need to be approved by Richmond City Council. It will get a public hearing at Council’s Governmental Operations Committee on April 28.

You can read the full ordinance here.

Out of all of the city’s Confederate monuments, only one still stands: the A.P. Hill statue in Richmond’s Northside neighborhood. 

Stoney said Tuesday city officials are hoping to begin removal this summer, after working with descendents and historic preservationists. Hill’s remains, which were relocated to the monument from Hollywood Cemetery in 1891, are buried underneath the monument, which sits at the intersection of Laburnum Avenue and Hermitage Road.