After more than 30 years of controversy, the Thomas Fallon statue in San Jose, California is being removed. The bronze sculpture, which was commissioned in 1988 and stored until its installation in 2002 without public input, depicts Captain Thomas Fallon raising an American flag during the 1846 Bear Flag Revolt—a symbol that to members of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe represents a brutal time in Native American and Mexican history. While the removal comes at a hefty $450,000 price tag, it marks a big victory for Muwekma Ohlone and other affected communities. With no plans for a replacement statue, a traffic median will be installed following the removal, which is set to be completed by May 4.
"It's like having a statue of a tyrant in the middle of San Jose. We're trying to move forward from this, not move back," a member of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe told NBC Bay Area.
…"The Fallon statue represents a time in our history that was brutal for us Native Americans and the Mexican communities that were living here along with us. I think history needs to be told right, so I wouldn't want this statue to be removed and forgotten. That statue needs to be placed somewhere where that history is shared, both histories are shared, right? A symbol that reflects all of the people in the Bay Area ought to be put in its place," Charlene Nijmeh, Chairwoman of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe, told ABC7.