Looks like Route 29 may be getting a new name ...
The last year has seen changes in organizations, products, and departments regarding their titles to be less racist. Country band Lady A dropped the "Antebellum" in their name. Quaker Oats removed its once well-known image after deeming it resembled a racial stereotype. The Washington Football Team has replaced what was once called the Washington Redskins.
Even throughout Virginia, the re-branding of names has ensued throughout 2020 and 2021. Confederate monuments have come down in cities like Richmond and Charlottesville. Stonewall Jackson High School changed its name to Unity Reed High School. And now, the changes will take place in Fairfax County as well, according to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, who are considering different names to replace Lee Highway (known also as U.S. Route 29) and Lee Jackson Memorial Highway (known also as U.S. Route 50).
The former is titled after Confederate General Robert E. Lee and the latter is named after Confederate General Stonewall Jackson.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman, Jeffrey McKay, spoke on the matter. “In Fairfax County, our diversity is our greatest strength and it’s important that we honor and celebrate that diversity .... We cannot ignore what the Lee and Lee Jackson Memorial Highway names represent in our community and especially to our African American neighbors,” he said.
The Board has come together to create a task force of 30 members, titled the Confederate Names Task Force. They will be entertaining suggestions from Fairfax county residents, religious groups, homeowners, and local organizations on what to change Lee Jackson Memorial Highway and Lee Highway names too. Their task is to pick names before getting them approved by the board. Evelyn S. Spain will lead the Confederate Names Task Force. She serves on Fairfax's NAACP chapter.
McKay commented further, saying, "The Confederate Names Task Force, which includes a diverse group, will examine and make recommendations on how both roadways can better reflect our values as we chart a positive path together for the future.”
Fairfax County isn't the only county in the DMV shaking up its confederate names. Nearby Arlington is also changing its part of Lee Jackson Memorial Highway.
What would you change the Highways' names to? Let us know in the comments!