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Virginia city mulls end to pro-Confederacy street-naming law

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A Northern Virginia city known for its Civil War history is now mulling a repeal to a law that mandates certain streets be named after Confederate generals.

Alexandria city officials say the 1963 law that new "streets running in a generally north-south direction shall, insofar as possible, bear the names of Confederate military leaders" is archaic and needs changing, CBS News reported.

City Councilman Justin Wilson introduced a bill this week to repeal that law – as well as another that mandates east-west streets in the city be named after prominent and historical Americans persons and places.

Realistically, Mr. Wilson's repeal would have little effect. Alexandria is not exactly bustling with new street construction, and most of its properties have been built out already, CBS said.

But symbolically speaking, Mr. Wilson said it's time the city shed its image as a glory to the Confederacy.

"I think we struggle in the city with our history," he said, CBS reported.

Some of the city's streets currently honor Gen. Robert E. Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney – that last, famous for the Dred Scott decision denying citizenship to blacks.

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