Heated controversy over future of Wilmington Confederate statues

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Should they stay or should they go?

Across the state, controversy over confederate statues continues.

One Wilmington woman wants them gone and even started a petition.

There are more than statues that point to Wilmington’s confederate ties. Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, these are some of the street names in Pine Valley that are symbols of the confederacy.

While the petition doesn’t specifically mention street signs, this could be Hannah Frank’s next objective.

Remove these statues immediately is what Frank wants to see happen in the Port City.

She started a petition asking Mayor Bill Saffo to remove the confederate monuments in Wilmington.

“I would like to see other acknowledgements of Wilmington’s complex and indeed quite rich history,” Frank said.

Her views is not shared by everyone though.

Civil War re-eanctor Terry Bates thinks the monuments are too important to our history to remove.

“If it wasn’t for the Civil War I don’t believe Wilmington would be the thriving city that it is today,” Bates said.

Despite the more than 350 signatures on the petition supporting their removal, getting rid of the monuments isn’t allowed because of a state law.

“I know as well it is currently illegal for the cities to take down the monuments without state approval, however if the city were ahead to do that it would be up to the democratic attorney general sue the city, so there’s really little incentive for the attorney general of North Carolina to sue Wilmington,” Frank said.

Both sides do agree if they are removed they should be placed somewhere else.

“What really gets me a little upset about these monuments is these cities are taking them down and they’re just putting them in scrap yards or junk yards i mean at least send them to a battlefield,” Bates said.

We reached out to Mayor Saffo. He said he could not comment.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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