Ku Klux Klan Plaque at United States Military Academy

WEST POINT – Three bronze plaques at the United States Military Academy’s Bartlett Hall Science Center include one with an image of a hooded figure and the words “Ku Klux Klan” written below it. The plaques have been flagged in a recent report by the federal Naming Commission.

The commission is asking the United States Military Academy at West Point to remove or rename assets owned by the Defense Department that recognize the Confederacy.

Recommendations have also been made for changes at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. The Naming Commission was created by Congress in 2021.

The report, however, did not recommend removing the KKK plaque because it is outside of their jurisdiction. The members of the commission are requesting that the bronze plaques be removed by those with authority. The report also included recommendations for the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis.

“The reason that we put that in there was because we thought it was wrong,” said Ty Seidule, a retired brigadier general who serves as vice chair of the commission, referring to the flagging of the KKK plaque in the report. “When we find something that’s wrong, but it’s not within our remit, we wanted to tell the Secretary of Defense about that.”

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D, NY-18) is calling for the removal of the KKK plaque, along with one of General Robert E. Lee, a West Point graduate, and General J.E.B. Stuart, another West Point graduate who fought for the Confederacy.

“We cannot allow bigotry of the past to be perpetuated and celebrated in the same halls that educate our leaders of the future. It is essential that West Point’s campus and culture be one that is welcoming to students of all backgrounds,” said Rep. Maloney, whose district includes West Point. “For years, I’ve advocated directly to military leadership for such changes, and I am glad to see that we are finally making progress.”

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