What's in a name? Group pushes to rename highway

Off the US 60, just east of Apache Junction, the Jefferson Davis Highway marker has sat about 20 feet from the highway since 1948, now its future may be in question.

"It is time that we move forward, and leave behind the tributes that could be seen as legitimizing injustice and inequality," said State Rep. Reginald Bolding.

Jefferson Davis was the President of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. He commanded the Confederate Army, and was a slave owner. In the early 20th Century the United Daughters of the Confederacy pushed to have a coast to coast highway named in his honor, that would explain the marker in the far east valley.

"150 years later we see symbols, we see historic monuments celebrating those who encouraged secession and being a rebel," said Roy Tatum.

After the murders of nine people at a South Carolina church, a major effort has been underway to have the confederate flag removed from the state capitol and anywhere in the nation.

Bolding is leading an Arizona effort to have the portion of the U.S. 60 renamed, and have the plaque removed.

"We want the community to have the opportunity to have their voices heard. We know what it shouldn't be named, it should be a symbol of equality, and access for all. It shouldn't be a symbol of hatred, and the past that has scarred so many lives," said Bolding. 

The group plans to work with the state board on geographic and historic names which has oversight of the names of various spots in the state. One factor they use to determine if a name is appropriate is whether the name is derogatory to a specific ethnic group.
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