LEESBURG, Va. (AP) — Officials in Virginia’s Loudoun County have voted to rename the county’s portions of U.S. Routes 50 and 7. That’s because one of the roadways was named after a Confederate commander, and the other was named after an ardent segregationist. WTOP reports that the board voted on Tuesday to begin the process of making the changes. U.S. 50 has been called John Mosby Highway. Mosby was a Confederate commander during the Civil War. U.S. 7 has been known as Harry Byrd Highway in the stretches contained in Loudoun County. Byrd was a Virginia governor from 1926 to 1930 and later a U.S. Senator.
Loudoun Supervisor Koran Saines said Byrd was known for his zealous opposition to integration. Saines authored the motion to the begin the process of naming the two highways. Supervisor Juli Briskman headed another motion to have the county inventory public roads, buildings and other entities named for racist figures. “Residents, especially those of color, shouldn’t have to drive on, walk on, play in or pay taxes to support public infrastructure that glorifies those who would tear apart our nation, and continue a system of racism and oppression, well beyond the end of the Civil War,” Briskman told fellow board members.