In the wake of what State Auditor Jim Zeigler has called a “purge” of Confederate history in the Montgomery Goathill Museum gift shop where Alabama history is commodified, Zeigler says “someone vested with authority” has replaced a few of the items of the dozens that went missing on Thursday.
In a release Zeigler – who called the recent gesture by Gov. Robert Bentley to take down the Confederate-era flag that flew near Alabama’s capitol rotunda a “deceptive political move” and also opposes the museum purge – enumerated the items as follows on Monday:
- Jefferson Davis memorabilia coin
- A book of all the different Confederate flags
- A deck of cards with the same
- Actual mini flag of the 1st Confederate flag (Stars & Bars, not the battle flag) and the 2nd Confederate flag (mostly white)
- Patch for the flag
“It appears they were re-shelved in the dark of night to make it look like this is not a purge of Confederate history. The vast bulk of what was missing is gone,” said Zeigler told Alabama Today on Monday.
“I do not think the officials who did this saw the light, I believe they felt the heat,” he added, expanding upon his earlier remarks he believes the Bentley administration has not acted in good faith as it relates to the state’s fast-vanishing officially sanctioned Confederate iconograpy.
The inventory and findings, incidentally, were observed by one of Zeigler’s new volunteer investigators, part of a program within his statewide office he intends to expand according to remarks late last month.
A letter from Zeigler to Governor Bentley sent last week on the same subject reads as follows:
Dear Gov. Bentley:
My office received information today that you had had The Goathill Museum Store in the capitol remove all Confederate items. We double checked this. My assistant has just walked down from our office to the store, and the items are indeed gone. Personnel are saying this was done on request of the governor’s office.
Your office has just contacted me saying you did not actually do this. The Confederate history items are definitely missing from the museum store.
I now request that you contact the Goathill Museum Store and whoever has authority over them. Please put in a request from the governor that the Confederate items be returned to the store.
Right now, everybody is trying to blame someone else and no one is taking responsibility. You can clear this up with your request to return the Confederate history items to the museum store.
Please let me know if you will take this simple step to clear this up, or else let this part of our history remain removed from the museum store.
P.S. I tried to buy some miniature diecast Confederate soldiers. They are gone.
Last week the Anniston Star reported that the Governor’s communications director said, “The governor did not order any of those items to be taken down.”