State Politics

How to have your say on the fate of Confederate monuments in Raleigh

Members of the North Carolina Historical Commission are guessing a lot of people have ideas on what to do about Confederate monuments on the state Capitol grounds.

A study committee is considering a petition from Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration to move three monuments from Raleigh to the Bentonville Battlefield in Johnston County, where they can be put into context.

The committee has set up an online portal at https://www.ncdcr.gov/comment-relocation-monuments for public comment.

Comments can also be mailed to the N.C. Historical Commission Monuments Committee, Attn: Dr. Kevin Cherry, 4610 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699.

The committee is preparing to make a recommendation to the full commission in April. It’s considering what actions the commission can take under a 2015 law that give it limited authority over relocation of monuments, and whether the commission can recommend changes to the existing sites to add context. The committee is also seeking input from law schools and historians.

Pro-Confederacy groups have stepped up their defense of the monuments. The Sons of Confederate Veterans group said it sent Cooper a photo of people posing around one of the monuments to demonstrate support for keeping them where they are.

Sons of Confederate Veterans is also trying to raise Confederate flags in every county along Interstate 40 in response to Confederate monuments being removed across the South.

Cooper raised the idea of moving the monuments last year after a violent white supremacists’ rally in Charlottesville, Va., last year that left one woman dead.

A group called the Campaign to Move Silent Sam hopes the commission takes a broader view and supports moving Confederate monuments around the state, including the statue known as Silent Sam at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Lynn Bonner: 919-829-4821, @Lynn_Bonner

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