Confederate statue at Gaston County courthouse to stay, for now

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Gaston County commissioners rescinded a motion Tuesday night that would have given ownership of the Confederate statue to the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Leaders thought they had a plan worked out, but a last minute change is forcing them back to square one. For now, the statue will remain where it’s at.

The town originally received the statue more than 100 years ago. After relentless controversy, leaders gifted it to the Sons of Confederate Veterans earlier this month.

Now, the group declined the offer.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans backed out of the deal to take the statue from the county courthouse because they questioned if commissioners followed the law.

As Tuesday night’s meeting was being held, protesters and counter-protesters gathered outside of the courthouse where the statue stands.

The commissioners gave them six months to relocate it off government property, but the group is concerned the plan violated state law saying it’s illegal for local governments to move historical statues without permission from the state.

This follows months of protests and a recommendation by an advisory board to relocate the state. Many commissioners told the Gazette they are back to square one.