Private Confederate Monuments

50 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2020 Last revised: 29 Mar 2021

See all articles by Jessica Owley

Jessica Owley

University of Miami - School of Law

Jess R. Phelps

The Lyme Timber Company LP

Sean W. Hughes

University of Miami, School of Law

Date Written: September 25, 2020


As public confederate monuments finally begin to come down across the nation, we are beginning to see a new emergence of confederate monuments on private lands. The number of private confederate monuments is increasing both with the construction of new monuments and, more significantly, the relocation of monuments from public land. This Article explains why private confederate monuments are likely to be the next battleground over these controversial and troubled statues. Through ten detailed examples, we show how private confederate monuments emerge and how communities are responding. The challenges related to monuments on private land are different than those on public lands, and previous activism and research in this area is only of limited use in grappling with this category. This Article addresses the difficult issues with private confederate monuments. We urge communities to be thoughtful in their relocation efforts and to contextualize (and distance themselves from) all confederate monuments. This Article serves as a cautionary note to communities looking to dispose of their monuments by donating or returning these resources to private groups and encourages communities to fully evaluate the impacts of their removal and relocation plans to ensure they do not lead to unintended consequences or creates issues for another community.

Suggested Citation

Owley, Jessica and Phelps, Jess R. and Hughes, Sean, Private Confederate Monuments (September 25, 2020). Lewis & Clark Law Review, Vol. 25, No. 1, pages 253-302 (2021), University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3699722, Available at SSRN:

Jessica Owley (Contact Author)

University of Miami - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 248087
Coral Gables, FL 33146
United States

Jess R. Phelps

The Lyme Timber Company LP ( email )

Sean Hughes

University of Miami, School of Law ( email )

Miami, FL
United States

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