A new billboard may turn the heads of folks driving east on Interstate 40 near the junction with I-95 at Benson.
The ad, installed by the N.C. Sons of Confederate Veterans, features an image of the controversial Confederate monument on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill known as Silent Sam.
The ad, next to one for Bojangles’, includes the group's Confederate flag logo and the words: “HELP US PROTECT OUR VETERANS’ MONUMENTS!”
“The billboard references the recently increased efforts of Durham-based communists and Governor Roy Cooper to destroy and forcefully remove memorials to our veterans,” Kevin Stone, the group commander, wrote in a statement shared Thursday.
The state Sons of Confederate Veterans division is planning more highway billboards, “as we defend the honor of our ancestors and inform the public of recent misguided efforts by our Governor and activists to politicize, remove, censor, and pervert Confederate heritage,” the statement said.
UNC leaders in March announced plans to add historical context to McCorkle Place, the university quadrangle where Silent Sam stands.
The monument has prompted protests by students and activists, and a vigorous debate among people affiliated with the university.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans group drew complaints last fall for passing out Confederate flag stickers from their booth at the N.C. State Fair.