Controversial confederate statues removed one year ago, what now?

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Questions remain one year later after confederate monuments were removed in the early morning hours of June 25, 2020, in Downtown Wilmington.

The statues memorializing confederate politician George Davis on Market Street and confederate soldiers on 3rd Street were removed in the midst of the unrest following the death of George Floyd last summer.

“It let me know that slavery was okay. It’s okay to enslave another human being and we glorify that type of legacy,” Community Activist Sonya Patrick said. “That’s what it meant to me every time I saw those statues up there.”

Relieved to see them removed, Patrick is glad to see they have not reappeared.

“Our local government said this is the United States of America, not the United States of the Confederacy,” Patrick said. “I think it means a lot, I think it says a lot about the people here in Wilmington and how we want to move forward as one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

Last summer the Historic Wilmington Foundation supported the removal of the statues, saying they did not represent the values of the city.

However, it’s not as easy as removing them. N.C. law requires state approval for any monument of remembrance to be permanently moved but allows an exception for temporary removal in the interest of public safety.

In response to questions about the current status of the monuments, the City of Wilmington released the following statement:

“The city attorney’s office continues to evaluate the situation in the context of the evolving legal landscape surrounding objects of remembrance and is working to provide recommendations for a permanent resolution to the matter. Mayor and Council will have a conversation about the future of the statues once the attorney’s office provides a recommendation. They are currently stored at an undisclosed location.”

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