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Lawsuit Seeks Removal Of Iredell County Confederate Monument

The Confederate monument in Statesville depicts a Confederate soldier standing at parade rest while holding a musket.
Courtesy Rusty Long
/
North Carolina Department Of Cultural Resources
The Confederate monument in Statesville depicts a Confederate soldier standing at parade rest while holding a musket.

A coalition has filed a lawsuit seeking the removal of a Confederate monument that stands in front of Iredell County's government center in Statesville.

News outlets report that the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Iredell County Superior Court calls for an order directing the Iredell Board of County Commissioners to move the statue from the grounds of the government center, the former county courthouse.

The plaintiffs are a coalition of county residents, state and local NAACP chapters and a local clergy group.

A release from the group alleges the Confederate monument “celebrates slavery, secession, and white supremacy while posing a threat to public safety and draining the public purse, all in violation of multiple provisions of the North Carolina Constitution.”

In early March, the board passed a resolution favoring the removal, but reversed course weeks later saying the monument owners rejected any movement.

According to the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, 28 soldiers who died during the Civil War were buried in Statesville.

The monument, dedicated in 1906, depicts a Confederate soldier standing at parade rest while holding a musket. The statue of the soldier is 6-foot-6, and the monument is 27 feet tall in total. The monument is co-owned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and Sons of Confederate Veterans. It was re-dedicated in 2006.

According to data tracked by WUNC, at least 24 Confederate monuments have been removed (or have been approved for removal) in North Carolina since May 25, 2020; the day an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Associated Press
Mitchell Northam is a Digital Producer for WUNC. His past work has been featured at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, SB Nation, the Orlando Sentinel and the Associated Press. He is a graduate of Salisbury University and is also a voter in the AP Top 25 poll for women's college basketball.
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