MORGANTON, N.C. — Another local town could take down Confederate flags and statues after more than a dozen law enforcement officers separated supporters and those protesting the memorial this past weekend.
There’s now a petition to take down the statue in Morganton. The organizer told Channel 9′s Dave Faherty he already has 2,400 people who have signed it online.
Tyler Hastings said in a little over 48 hours, thousands of people have shown their support for removing the statue.
While Channel 9 was speaking with Hastings at the statue on Tuesday, members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans entered the fence around the memorial in order to place a wreath ahead of July 4th. The group said that around the statue, there are 1,300 names on plaques of soldiers who are from Burke County who fought for the Confederacy.
“We try to be a nice group,” Elgie McGalliard from the Sons of Confederate Veterans said. “We are here to protect this statue and keep its heritage going. That’s what we are here for.”
The two sides discussed their reasons for supporting and opposing the memorial. Hastings argues that while some see the statues as representing heritage, it is a symbol of suffering for others.
“The statue represents heritage to some, but also a symbol of pain to others,” he said. “Then, why does it belong on our city square?”
Resident Cathy Harshaw and her grandson stopped to talk about their frustration over the memorial and the wreath placed there.
“Don’t hang it on a statue that has been there for years and years and years,” Harshaw told Channel 9. “That’s showing hatred and we don’t want that.”
Supporters of the statue said they’re watching it 24/7.
Hastings told Channel 9 he is opposed to anyone tearing down the statue. He believes it should be moved elsewhere. He plans on taking the signatures to county and city leaders in the Morganton area.
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