Documents Leave Questions Unanswered About UNC's Deal With Sons Of Confederate Veterans

Dec 17, 2019

File photo of a demonstration and counter-protest at UNC-Chapel Hill over Silent Sam Confederate statue, October 2015.
Credit Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The University of North Carolina System agreed to give the state chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans $74,999 in exchange for the group keeping Confederate symbols off public university campuses.

That deal is one of the revelations contained in a batch of documents recently released by the UNC Board of Governors regarding their arrangement with the group over the Silent Sam monument. The SCV in turn agreed not to display Confederate flags or banners on UNC campuses for five years.

The $74,999 price tag falls one dollar short of a $75,000 treshold that would have required a review from the state attorney general.

The documents also leave some questions open about the separate $2.5 million arrangement recently struck between the school system and the SCV to preserve the Confederate monument known as Silent Sam, which protesters toppled in 2018.

In an email dated this February, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans asks for a meeting with UNC Board of Governors member Bob Rucho, but the documents include no other correspondence until November.

That's when the UNC System asked the attorney general's office for approval to retain outside counsel for a possible settlement regarding Silent Sam. Eight days later, the settlement was done, and UNC-Chapel Hill — the campus where the statue once stood — had been told to transfer $2,574,999 to the university system.