Local NAACP calls for Confederate memorial removal, Columbus may - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Local NAACP calls for Confederate memorial removal, Columbus mayor responds

(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM) (Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)
(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM) (Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)
(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM) (Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)
Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson. (Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM) Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson. (Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)
Local Columbus Branch NAACP President Tonza Thomas. (Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM) Local Columbus Branch NAACP President Tonza Thomas. (Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson is responding to the local chapter of the NAACP after their request for all Confederate symbols in Muscogee County be removed immediately.

“Mayor Tomlinson, these reminders have no place in the city of Columbus. That ole tattered Confederate flag and monument erected by the Ladies Memorial Association, next to Colonel W.L. Salisbury's marker MUST come down,” said Tonza Thomas, the NAACP Columbus Branch President.

The local NAACP branch president also says they are faced with symbolic reminders of horror and hatred of many of their ancestors as they walk on the 700 block of Broadway.

According to Mayor Tomlinson, after investigating the memorial on Broadway, she does not advocate its removal.

She released the following statement as to why the memorial will not be removed:

"It is unlike those monuments being debated and removed around the country.  The Broadway memorial is not a monument to war or to generals.  It is a monument to the death, destruction, and loss of life that came from the ignorance, hatred and false bravado of that war. 

It was erected in 1879, not during the push back from the civil rights movement or in conjunction with Jim Crow.  It was erected 14 years after the cessation of war and after Confederate soldiers (other than Jefferson Davis, Robert Lee and the Confederate Secretary of War) had been pardoned by two presidents in an effort of national reunification – to not forget, but to move forward as one nation. 

It was erected not by the city or county or state, nor with public funds.  It was paid for by the family and friends of the dead. 

I would welcome the opportunity to meet with the NAACP and others in the community to create and design another monument, placard or symbol at that place, noting the true cause and horror of that war and its lasting effects on our community and the lives of our citizens. Let that area be a cautionary tale to what hatred will bear. 

I have seen no Confederate Flag.  I have someone from my office checking on that now.  No Confederate Flag will fly on the public right of way of this city. "

Click here to view an interactive map of Confederate memorials across the country.

Several Confederate monuments across the county have been removed since the Charlottesville deadly rally. 

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