City Reviews Proposal To Extend Confederate Statue Removal Deadline

City Reviews Proposal To Extend Confederate Statue Removal Deadline

3:57pm Jan 29, 2019
The Confederate soldier monument on the corner of Fourth and Liberty Streets in downtown Winston-Salem. KERI BROWN/WFDD

The deadline to remove a Confederate statue in downtown Winston-Salem is Thursday, Jan. 31. But the United Daughters of the Confederacy could have more time to meet the city’s demand.

The UDC is asking the city for a 60-day delay on filing legal action to remove the monument.

An attorney for the group says there are questions about the ownership of the statue and whether it meets the legal definition to be described as a public nuisance, and also questions of whether the city’s actions are constitutional.  

Another issue is whether placement of the courthouse property on the National Register of Historic Places prohibits the removal.

Winston-Salem mayor Allen Joines says the city is reviewing the proposal.

“The city is working very closely with the owners of the property where the statue sits, and we understand that the owner is willing to give a short extension, probably not 60 days, but some short extension,” says Joines.

The owner of the former courthouse, which now houses apartments, has also asked the UDC to remove the statue for safety concerns. The 30-foot tall Confederate soldier monument has been at the corner of Fourth and Liberty Streets since 1905. It’s been vandalized twice over the past year and a half.

During a rally in front of it earlier this month, protesters said it’s a symbol of slavery and oppression, but supporters said it’s a memorial to the Confederate soldiers who died during the war.

Joines says the city has offered to help pay for relocation of the statue in a nearby cemetery where several Confederate soldiers are buried.

*Follow WFDD’s Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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