A resolution calling for the removal of a Confederate monument at the Douglas County Courthouse will be on this morning’s Board of Commissioners agenda.
The resolution states that the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy requested the statue of a Confederate soldier that stands in front of the courthouse on Hospital Drive be moved to the county’s museum.
Last month, Triana Arnold James, the president of Georgia National Organization for Women, held a press conference in front of the statue to “call to action” residents to petition county commissioners to remove it.
The monument is owned by the local chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy, which had it erected in 1914 on the old courthouse square in downtown Douglasville, according to the resolution.
The BOC in the resolution cites a potential for the statue to be a “flash point for violence or vandalism” and the local Daughters of the Confederacy’s “desire that the Monument be disassembled and moved to the interior of the old courthouse building in the Douglas County Museum of History and Art...”
The old courthouse on Veterans Memorial Highway is on the National Register of Historic Places and houses the county Museum of History and Art.
“There will be a resolution presented at the meeting,” said District 3 Commissioner Tarenia Carthan, who is in favor of the removal. “Hopefully we will be able to vote on it.”
James said she was pleased to hear the BOC will address the issue.
“As a veteran of the United States Army, I signed that dotted line that I will defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” James said. “I fought for freedoms, justice, inclusion and it’s a shame that there are people that want to honor the Confederates that fought against freedom, fought for power to control another human being because of the color of their skin. They don’t deserve a monument on the lawn of the courthouse that suppose to represent justice.”
If the resolution is approved, Douglas County would join several metro area jurisdictions that have removed Confederate monuments in the past couple months.
In June, a judge ordered a statue be removed in Decatur to keep it from being vandalized.
Last week, Henry County removed a Confederate statue after the county commission voted 4-1.
In early July, a Confederate monument that stood for 107 years in Conyers was removed. County officials are talking about relocating the statue to the old cemetery in Rockdale County where there are Confederate graves.
Douglas County’s resolution states that the county does not own the monument, but will pay for the removal to the new location.
Under Georgia state law, “No publicly owned monument honoring Confederate soldiers shall be relocated, removed or altered in any fashion” however, as the case with the other monuments removed, officials cite the protection and preservation of the monument against vandalism.
Wanda White is in opposition of the monument’s removal.
“The removal of the statue at the Douglas County Courthouse, prohibited by law, further divides the county as it fails to represent diversity with its removal,” she wrote in a email to county commissioners.
Local historian and Sentinel columnist Lisa Cooper said the soldier depicted is anonymous and not based on any one soldier who was from old Campbell County.
Douglas County did not exist during the Civil War and was not formed until 1870 from the northern section of old Campbell County and eventually parts of Carroll and Paulding counties, according to Cooper.
During her press conference last month, James said now is the time for the monument to be taken down.
“I felt the need to speak out on this issue,” James said last month. “Douglas County is a very diverse county. It is not like it use to be in 1914 or 1998. Because the county is very diverse and has pretty good representation, it needs to be removed. The Confederacy represented a very bad time. This statute should be taken down.”