NORTH CAROLINA: Charlotte YMCA Plans to Remove Monument With Confederate Flag
CHARLOTTE, NC – Plans are in the works for a monument containing a confederate flag to come down here in Charlotte. It’s been standing on East Morehead Street for over 20 years, but the North Carolina Military Institute monument’s days are numbered.
Ryan Lockhart says that isn’t a bad thing.
“Considering all the racial tension, I feel like something like that wouldn’t alleviate this in Charlotte,” Lockhart said. “So we don’t need something like that.”
Opinions from Charlotteans are mixed about the Dowd YMCA’s decision. A spokeswoman with the YMCA says construction on the building will impact the monument’s location, forcing them to move it. But once they’re done, the Y won’t put it back, which Trey Galarde disagrees with.
“People are being too emotional,” Galarde said. “That’s the reason they’re taking it down.”
A confederate flag is engraved in the monument and the YMCA says because they’re committed to welcoming all people, they’ve decided not to replace it. An official state marker recognizing the N.C. Military Institute is only a few feet away from the monument and that will stay put through the Y’s renovations.
“Appreciate the historical relevance but the message that it stands for kind of outweighs that,” Lockhart said.
The YMCA says they’ve agreed to meet with the Sons of Confederate soldiers and other parties involved so they can take the monument and find a new place for it.
“Maybe in a museum or something like that,” Lockhart said. “Somewhere that’s more controlled and not so much public.”
Construction starts in early 2016, so the YMCA says they’ll have the next few months to figure out the best option for the monument.
OKLAHOMA: Confederate Flag at Market Offends Black Family
ADA, Okla. — An Ada resident is upset after seeing a Confederate flag flying Friday night and Saturday morning in front of the Pontotoc County Free Fair at the Agri-Plex.
William H. Briggs, an African American who grew up in Ada, finds the flag offensive and believes it is illegal to fly it on city and county property.
“It is illegal if it is county or city property,” Briggs said. “As you know, you and I, and other residents here, we pay taxes also. If (a vendor) leased it, the law doesn’t say you can fly the flag. If it’s on your personal vehicle or personal property, there’s nothing you can say, that’s your personal thing. But on city or county property, you are not supposed to do that.
“I will never go to the fair as long I have to cross that line. My mom is 80 years old. She’s very upset. I mean, it’s sticking right out there in the front when you walk in. Ain’t no blacks going to go to the fair (with the flag there).”
Todd Ray, president of the Fair Board, said the flags were not flown by anyone in county government, but by vendors who were selling flags of all types.
“They were just flying them to show that they had them,” Ray said. “They had other flags there, too. They just stuck that one up there with the rest of them. They weren’t trying to do anything wrong, They were just trying to sell their merchandise.”
Ray said he spoke with Pontotoc County District Attorney Chris Ross, who said it is not illegal to display Confederate flags on city or county property in Oklahoma. Ray also spoke with the vendors who agreed to take them down Saturday.
“There’s no law, but out of the kindness of their hearts, they took them down,” Ray said.
TEXAS: Attorney Files Plea for Hearing in Jefferson Davis Statue Case
AUSTIN, Tex. — Kirk Lyons, an attorney representing The Sons of Confederate Veterans, filed a plea with the U.S. Court of Appeals to set up another hearing at the District Court level in the Jefferson Davis statue case last week.
After UT filed a plea with the jurisdiction, the judge dismissed the case filed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans seeking to halt removal of the statue at the District Court level. Soon after, Lyons petitioned the court for another hearing Aug. 31, the day after the statue was removed from the Main Mall.
“We had to get something filed or else we knew the statues would come down over the weekend,” Lyons said. “So we appealed, and we got the Supreme Court in Texas, and we couldn’t get a hearing and the clock ran out, and on Aug. 30, they took the statue down.”
Lyons said the District Court decided that the court did not have jurisdiction over what UT decided to do with the statues. According to Lyons, because the District Court decided that they did not have jurisdiction, they voided an injunction that was previously ordered. This injunction barred the Sons of Confederate Veterans from stopping the removal of the statues.
“If it is true that the judge had no jurisdiction to hear the case, then she shouldn’t have been denying a temporary injunction,” Lyons said. “She should have just dismissed it, and we could have been on our way to the Court of Appeals.”
Lyons said he thinks the case will stand. The new case will most likely be set back up at the District Court level in a few months, according to Lyons.
“A few months will go by, and we’ll be here, and the case will be set back up,” Lyons said. “We’ll just have to keep our friends on campus stirred up until then.”
Lyons said he plans to attend President Fenves’ inauguration to keep the discussion about the statue alive until the case is heard. Lyons said he intends to plant Confederate flags in a “discreet” area around the inauguration site, Bass Concert Hall.
“It’s legally wrong, and it’s morally wrong what they did, and we intend to make an impact on campus so that Greg Fenves doesn’t get to forget his crime against art and history,” Lyons said. “We will stick around until the statue comes back up.”
The University declined to comment on the issue.
KENTUCKY: Camp Nelson To Host Civil War Commemoration
Commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War at Camp Nelson Heritage Park on Saturday and Sunday during Living History Weekend.
Experience military and civilian life during the Civil War on one of the best preserved Union Army supply depots and recruitment sites in the nation. Features include drills, demonstrations, camp scenarios, period music, artisans, sutlers, historical presentations, tours of the antebellum White House, fortifications, trails and a period herb garden.
Visiting historical characters will include Frederick Douglass, John G. Fee and Abraham Lincoln. Gates open at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Military skirmish starts at 2 p.m.
A special preview Friday evening with camp opens at 6 p.m. and cannon firing at 8. Admission is $5, free for ages 11 and younger. Visitors receive a 32-page commemorative booklet that tells the Camp Nelson story.
Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park is along U.S. 27 about 17 miles south of Fayette Mall and 6 miles south of Nicholasville at 6614 Danville Road.
For a complete schedule, go to Campnelson.org. For more information call (859) 881-5716.
VIRGINIA: Pickup Truck With Confederate Flag Set on Fire
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — A Portsmouth man says someone intentionally tried to set his truck on fire.
Portsmouth Fire Marshall and police responded to the scene on Detroit Street in Port Norfolk shortly before midnight on Friday.
Investigators aren’t ready to comment on the case. But the truck owner, William Silverthorne, tells WAVY-TV he thinks he was targeted.
“They had put fuel in a bottle, and the way it looked like they had stuffed the flag into it,” he told WAVY.com.
One of the three Confederate flags that Silverthorne flies on the back of his truck, as well as part of his plastic toolbox were burned. There was no other damage. Silverthorne said a Good Samaritan passing by put the fire out.
“It’s not a crime to fly the flags but it is a crime to destroy the property, vandalism, fire, however, you want to call it,” he said.
Silverthorne proudly flies three Confederate flags on his truck. He makes money selling flags, bumper stickers, and other memorabilia. His truck is a moving advertisement.
“In America you’re allowed to buy a flag. What happened to that flag after I sell it, I hope it’s not used to hurt anybody’s feelings. that’s not what it’s about, it’s just history,” he explained.
But not everyone who lives in his household agrees. His roommate Donna says she wants him to take the flags off the truck.
“I’m concerned for all of us staying here and becoming a target. Because it does hurt people, and I see that, and I don’t want to hurt anybody,” Donna said.
Fire investigators tell WAVY-TV that they are looking into the case. They should have an update on Tuesday.