Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has recently signed into law the Heritage Protection Act.This law, which applies to the entire state and all cities, prohibits the renaming, removal, or relocating of any military monument or item, such as a statue or flag display, or park, and includes streets and school names, or any other item so honoring a military unit or person. It is effective as of April 1, 2013, and applies to any military item from the French and Indian War through the Mid-East wars, and all US wars in between, including the War Between the States.
This legislation, the basic text of which was written by Lee Millar, SCV Chief of Protocol and LtCdr of the Tennessee Division, was introduced to the Legislature by Tenn Div Cdr Mike Beck to the Senate and Millar to the House, and was passed overwhelmingly by both the House and the Senate by a combined vote of 95-25.Thanks also to those many compatriots who wrote in to their senators and representatives in support.
This law will assist in the Memphis issue with the Forrest Park anti-renaming campaign and will clearly hereafter protect the Forrest Statue, as well as the Jefferson Davis Statute and the SCV Confederate cannons in Confederate Park.It will also protect scores of other Confederate and War For Southern Independence sites throughout Tennessee.
The new law is one of the greatest documents in modern history for the protection and preservation of this state’s and nation’s military history and heritage.It is hoped that other states will now take up the initiative.