McDONOUGH – A change.org petition has called for the removal of the Confederate statue on the McDonough Square.

As of Monday afternoon, more than 1,600 petitioners have signed the petition, which calls for the statue to be removed.

The statue, located in the center of the McDonough Square, was erected in 1910 by funds raised through the Charles T. Zachry Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

The petition refers to the statue as a product of a movement known as the “Lost Cause of the Confederacy” that refers to the Confederate cause during the American Civil War as just and heroic.

“It is an ideology that endorses the supposed virtues of the antebellum South, viewing the war as a struggle primarily to save the Southern way of life, or to defend ‘states’ rights,’ in the face of overwhelming ‘Northern aggression,’” wrote petition writer William Crane. “At the same time, the Lost Cause minimizes or even denies outright the central role of slavery in the buildup to and outbreak of the Civil War.”

Crane also writes that the statue “not only embodies that message of denial, but acts as a constant visual reminder to (People of Color) of their position in Southern history; a white Confederate soldier looming menacingly above them in a position of power.”

On Sunday morning, the city of McDonough said that no requests or documents had been presented to Mayor Billy Copeland or to the City Council.

“If the need for official discussion should arise, it would take place at a formal meeting of Mayor and Council,” the statement reads.

This is not the first time a push has been raised concerning the statue. Back in 2017, county residents spoke to the Henry County Board of Commissioners concerning the statue, with some asking for the statue to remain while others called for its removal.

The next scheduled meeting of the McDonough City Council is a work session on June 15 at 6 p.m. at McDonough City Hall, located at 136 Keys Ferry St. in McDonough.

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Government Reporter

A native of Hampton, Georgia, Joe Adgie has worked for the Valdosta Daily Times, Clayton News, Rockdale Citizen and Newton Citizen. Adgie joined the Henry Herald in April 2018.

(1) comment

Charlotte

According to the civil suit documents, the Sons of Confederate Veterans contend that the Henry County Board of Commissioners intend to violate State law by removing the statue, citing O.C.G.A. 50-3-1, “for removing the Confederate monument of Charles T, Zachry from its place of honor and prominence in downtown McDonough."

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O.C.G.A. 50-3-1 concerns state flags, defacing of public monuments and obstruction and relocation of said monuments, which include “the military service of… the United States of America… or the Confederate States of America.”

The law also states that “No publicly owned monument erected… on the public property of this state or its agencies… shall be relocated, removed, concealed, obscured or altered in any fashion by any officer or agency.”

The law also states that, “appropriate measures for the preservation, protection and interpretation of such monument or memorial shall not be prohibited.”

So, by GA Law, the statue cannot be disturbed, by anyone, nor by any entity.

Should anyone try, they will be subject to whatever punishment is required to prevent any disturbance of the McDonough Square Monument/Statue of Charles T Zachry.

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