Controversy Over Confederate Monuments

Confederate monument on the grounds of the State Capitol

By Caitlin Richards

Confederate Monuments in North Carolina have been removed or vandalized due to a white supremacist rally that took place in Charlottesville, VA on Aug. 12. This rally called attention to the Confederate monuments and how they are insulting to African-Americans.

Some people do not want the Civil War period of American history, leaders, and those who fought for the Confederacy, to be glorified. One such confederate monument that has already been taken down in North Carolina is a Robert E. Lee statue, which was vandalized in Duke Universitys chapel.

Students at Peace have their own opinions about what they think should happen to confederate monuments.

We should look into bringing the monuments down because it symbolizes hatred. Not unity. We have come so far as a nation, but still have some ways to go,said sophomore Angela Gamble. We shouldn’t celebrate domestic terrorism, in my opinion, it needs to come down.

A statue of a confederate soldier in Durham was pulled down by protestors that were rallying against white supremacists. Another Confederate soldier statue on the University of North Carolina’s campus, Silent Sam,was at the heart of a demonstration and controversy.

It has not yet been brought down at this time. However, Gov. Roy Cooper has stated that he thinks more confederate statues and monuments need to be brought down.

There are Confederate monuments located just down the street from Peace’s campus on the grounds of our state Capitol. One specific monument, one of the most noticeable in downtown Raleigh, is easily seen as it towers above the State Capitol grounds, as if guarding that end of Hillsborough Street.

This monument is in memory of fallen Confederate soldiers. At the top of the column is a statue depicting a Confederate artillery soldier holding a gun. Near the bottom of the column are two statues, one representing the Confederate infantry and the other a Confederate cavalryman.

These three Confederate statues on the State Capitol grounds are being considered for removal at this time. The Historical Commision has received a petition from the Department Of Administration to relocate them to the Bentonville Battlefield site, which is located in Johnston County, and was the largest Civil War battle in North Carolina.

It is the opinion of the DOA that this relocation is necessary in order to preserve these monuments and protect them from destruction.  

I didnt even know we had Confederate monuments and I didnt really care because I was like well theyre just statues.Now everybodys making a huge deal about them because of what they mean,” said sophomore Kassie Burton.  “But at the same token, I can understand that because of the Confederate flag and thats a serious point people need to make.

I don’t really know exactly how I feel about it. I just see it as an ongoing war about people doing it the wrong way. Like both sides are kind of not acting in the right way. Our side isn’t and neither are they. We know the [Confederate] flag and we know what the flag meant because thats what we were taught. The statues on the other hand, we weren’t ever really taught about the statues or monuments,said Burton.   

There have been many rallies and protests about Confederate monuments across the country to take down all the Confederate monuments. There have been many questions and controversies over whether or not the monuments really need to be recognized and remain standing for the  public to view.

Even though it represents an important part of our nations history, as well as family heritage for many,  there have been growing controversies, which are ongoing over this debate.

“As the Governor has said, our Civil War history is important, but it belongs in textbooks and museums – not a place of allegiance on our Capitol grounds. Relocating these monuments to a historic Civil War site will help us preserve them and provide context for their history,” stated DOA Secretary, Machelle Sanders.

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