COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A bill in the Georgia House of Representatives proposes removing Confederate monuments on public property.
House Bill 175 would amend the Official Code of Georgia to “prohibit the display of monuments, memorials, plaques, markers or memorabilia related to the Confederate States of America in public property.”
This would not apply to museums or Civil War battlefields.
Republicans in the Senate proposed a bill of their own, SB 77, that would add extra protection to things like the state flag and seal, as well as government statues and symbols. This would include symbols of the Confederacy.
If the Democrats’ bill passed, this could mean the Confederate monument on Broadway would have to be moved.
“Well, the fact that I wouldn’t want the Egyptian pyramids to be removed doesn’t mean that I’m glorifying slavery,” said Richard Gardner, associate professor of history education at Columbus State University. “They just happen to represent some degree of history.”
“Whether they want to use the good part of the history, or the bad part of the history, that’s something we do as people.” said Columbus resident Jerome Dingle. “We rationalize and we pick and choose what we want.”
Dingle said he believes each monument or statue should be assessed individually before making a decision on removing it.
Current Georgia law says that no publicly owned monument in honor of any military service can be changed or moved, including those from the Confederacy.
Both bills have been read in the Georgia House and Senate, but no vote has been held.