State committee meets on Confederate monument debate

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A special state committee will soon welcome public comments.

A special state committee will soon welcome public comments on whether to remove and relocate three Confederate monuments from State Capitol Square.

The five-member Study Committee on Relocation of Monuments is hoping to recommend action by April.

"This monument issue obviously is not an ordinary or routine task before us," David Ruffin, the committee's chair, told his colleagues at Monday's conference call meeting. "I for one want to find a just, equitable and fair solution to the issues. I believe the great majority of the people of this state expect that from us."

The Study Committee's charge follows a petition from the N.C. Department of Administration to relocate three Confederate monuments from the State Capitol grounds in Raleigh to the Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site in Four Oaks.

The North Carolina Historical Commission voted to appoint a committee from commission members to study the issue and seek advice and legal opinions from appropriate entities.

On August 14, dozens of Durham protesters ripped down a Confederate monument in front of the Durham County Courthouse. Seven protesters face felony charges in that case.

Duke University, as a private institution, was able to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from the famed Duke Chapel on August 19, but state law prohibits any action without the consent of the NC Historical Commission.


According to the North Carolina's Department of Cultural Resources, the Tar Heel State hosts 111 confederate statues and monuments, with 98 of them dedicated after 1900.
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