The White House on Tuesday announced a new approach to memorializing the United States’ military and civil rights leaders in monuments that are intended to honor the “victims and heroes of America’s Civil War.”
The new rule would not designate them as “memorials” but instead would limit them to those “that were constructed, maintained, or preserved by the government” and to those whose memorials are intended “to be an ongoing remembrance of those who gave their lives.”
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will present the first-ever President’s Day Address at the National Mall on Thursday.
The monuments proposal would go into effect on January 20, 2021.
It follows a directive issued by the White House in March, which required the government to “ensure that no monuments to those who served in the Civil War, or to those directly or indirectly involved in the war, are established in perpetuity.”
A senior White House official said in a statement Tuesday that the order “has been in the works for months.”
The official added that the new rule was a “first step in ensuring that these monuments are a part of a new, integrated approach to history that will honor all Americans who fought and died for our country.”
The new rule does not apply to monuments honoring “those who were not present in the Confederate Army or National Guard,” or to monuments that commemorate those who did not join the Confederacy, the official said.
It does not address statues honoring the Confederacy’s leaders, or monuments honoring those who joined the Confederacy or fought against it.
Trump’s proposed rule also does not include any mention of Confederate monuments.
The White Senate did not immediately respond to a request for comment.