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Georgia NAACP calls to remove Confederate symbols from public land

The Georgia NAACP call would include several monuments in Southwest Georgia, such as the Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site in Irwin County. / Mary Green

The Georgia NAACP is calling for all Confederate symbols on public property in the state to be removed.

The Georgia State Conference of the NAACP released a statement on Wednesday, saying in part, “Georgia is a great state and home to people of all heritages. Georgia and American values should trump the hate that flows from the continued celebration of the Confederate State of America.”

That call would include several monuments in Southwest Georgia, such as the Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site in Irwin County, where Davis was captured by Union troops in 1865. That park is publicly owned by Irwin County.

The NAACP chapter in nearby Ben Hill County said this monument hasn’t been an item of discussion in their meetings.

“While we have not made any official stance on the Jeff Davis Memorial Park, we will follow the dictates of the national office, of the state office, in this pursuit, in this matter,” chapter president Jim Turner said.

The park is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but the National Park Service said that doesn’t give it any special protections.

“The National Register includes historic resources nominated by federal, state, local and tribal governments, and private entities, that are considered worthy of preservation. National Register-listed properties are both publicly and privately owned. Decisions on how to manage those properties remain with the owners. Under the National Historic Preservation Act, listing in the National Register does not impose any restrictions to the use or disposition of a historic resource. Under Section 106 Federal agencies are required to take account the impacts of their undertakings on National Register-listed or eligible resources,” the National Park Service said in a statement on removing Confederate monuments listed in the National Register of Historic Places, but not located on NPS lands.

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