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Majority of White Americans support preserving Confederate legacy, poll reveals

A recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute reveals that 58% of White Americans support efforts to preserve the legacy and history of the Confederacy.
Confederate flag
Confederate flag Photo credit: / Maxim Studio

A national survey by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), initiated in 2022 and expanded in 2024, examined American attitudes towards Confederate monuments and memorialization in public spaces. The findings indicate a nation divided by race, region, and political affiliation.

Regional and generational differences

Support for preserving Confederate history is notably higher in Southern states (58%) compared to other regions (50%). Age also plays a significant role, with Gen Z (41%) being the only generation without majority support for preserving the Confederacy. In contrast, 62% of the Silent Generation, 58% of Gen X, 56% of baby boomers, and 51% of millennials support these efforts.

Political polarization

The issue is highly polarized by political affiliation. While a slim majority of Americans (52%) support preserving Confederate history, a staggering 80% of Republicans favor this notion. This contrasts sharply with the views of independents and Democrats.

The fate of Confederate monuments

Americans remain divided on what to do with existing Confederate monuments. According to the poll:

26% believe monuments should remain as they are.

35% think they should stay but include additional information on the history of slavery and racism.

28% advocate for their removal to museums.

9% support their destruction.

Political affiliations further influence these opinions, with nearly half of Republicans (47%) supporting the status quo, compared to 25% of independents and 8% of Democrats.

Future memorials and public spaces

When considering future memorials, Americans prioritize values such as service and contributions to the community (48%), patriotism (42%), and the idea of a nation of immigrants (38%).

Support for renaming public schools or changing mascots with racist connotations is strongest among Gen Zers (58% and 54%) and millennials (54% and 56%).

For more detailed insights, you can read the full PRRI report.

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