North Carolina Court Rules That Confederate Statue Will Not Be Removed

A North Carolina court ruled on Tuesday against removing a Confederate statue in front of the Alamance County Courthouse in the city of Graham. The three-panel court ruled unanimously in favor of leaving the Confederate statue where it is.

“Under the Monument Protection Law, the County has no authority to move the Monument,” the court’s decision read. “Regardless of some commission members’ comments or misunderstandings of their legal ability to move the Monument, the rule of law does not change.”

“At all times, the Monument Protection Law has required the County to leave the Monument in its current place. Defendants’ hands are tied — even if they wanted to move the Monument, they could not,” the ruling added.

The Monument Protection Law states that a monument cannot be removed unless it meets certain criteria regarding the condition of the monument posing a threat to public safety.

According to court documents, the monument “depicts an archetypal Alamance County infantry soldier serving the Confederacy during the Civil War.”

Former Alamance County NAACP President Barrett Brown stated that he was disappointed with the court’s decision.

“There were a swath of Confederate statues put up in the 1920s after Reconstruction ended. They were put up as an intimidation factor to keep people from registering to vote, to let people know that the cause of the south will continue to live on,” Brown said.

Even though the court ruled against the removal, Brown is not giving up the fight. He said that he was looking into other possible ways to remove the statue.

Not everyone was dissatisfied with the court’s ruling. Tracey Rogers, a Graham resident, said that the statue should be kept up as a reminder to learn from the past.

Since the death of George Floyd in 2020, groups such as the NAACP and Black Lives Matter have demanded the removal of several Confederate statues, stating that they are racist.

In 2020, the Alamance County manager emailed county commissioners to try and get the statue removed, citing that the statue posed a safety risk to protestors, one of the exceptions to getting a monument removed.

The claim was dismissed by a judge, stating that the county manager’s job was managerial and that he did not have the qualifications to declare the monument as a safety hazard.
Due to several protests against the monument, an 8-foot steel fence was put up in 2021 to protect it against vandalism.