Cooper administration files to move Confederate monuments from Capitol

Posted September 8

— Gov. Roy Cooper's administration formally petitioned the state's Historical Commission Friday in an effort to remove three Confederate monuments from the Capitol grounds in downtown Raleigh.

Cooper wants to move the statues 45 miles south to the Bentonville Battlefield historic site in Johnston County.

A state law passed in 2015 to protect Confederate monuments and other "objects of remembrance" restricts what the state can do, even with consent from the Commission, which is slated to meet Sept. 22.

The law says no state-owned monuments or works of art can be removed without its approval, but it also lays out rules for when the commission does allow changes. Monuments can be relocated only "when appropriate measures are required by the state" to preserve them or when removal is needed to make room for construction.

Confederate monument Take a tour of the NC Capitol's Confederate monuments

In its petition, the administration argues that this move indeed is needed "to ensure the monuments' preservation."

There's a full prohibition in the law against moving monuments to a museum, cemetery or mausoleum unless they were originally placed at one. Also, any movement requires monuments to be relocated "to a site of similar prominence, honor, visibility, availability, and access that are within the boundaries of the jurisdiction from which it was relocated," the law states.

The administration argues that Bentonville, the site of the largest Civil War battle in North Carolina, fits these requirements.

State Sen. Jim Davis, R-Macon, who co-sponsored the 2015 monument protection law, said his understanding of the law is that the Historical Commission has the power to approve removal of the State Capitol monuments. That doesn't mean it should in this case, he said.

"I think that we ought to preserve history and remember it," Davis said. "We have a checkered past in America and all the things that have gone on we are not proud of. ... And I think, before we remove these historical monuments of any kind, that we ought to do our due diligence and examine what we're doing it for."

The three statues at the Capitol that Cooper's administration wants to move are The 1895 Confederate Monument, The Henry Lawson Wyatt Monument and The North Carolina Women of the Confederacy Monument. The petition notes that the Capitol grounds are sometimes referred to as "Union Square."


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Ralph Savary Sep 14, 1:02 p.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    That's like saying my neighbor doesn't know how to change the oil in his car. What could he possibly know about doing his taxes. Completely surprising but after reading your comments I wouldn't suspect that you're a Rhodes Scholar either.

  • Deborah Turner Sep 13, 2:37 p.m.
    user avatar

    When the Great Governor of N.C. , Roy Cooper was on television several months ago telling about how his wife won't let him build a fire in the fireplace because he forgot the close the damper ( you open the damper in the chimney ) when he was trying to start a fire once upon a time while smoking up the house and he was also in the yard trying to rake leaves and didn't even know to use a blooming yard rake.... what could he know about historic monuments ???

  • Mike Pearce Sep 11, 7:47 p.m.
    user avatar

    Pack Cooper up and ship him out also, really they will be as visible at Bentonville Battlefield as they are at our states capital. Has Roy ever been to the battlefield, are we gonna load up that MLK statue on Raleigh Blvd and put it in the battlefield as well? This crowds going to keep on and there's gonna be new civil war vets.......

  • Joe Eastland Sep 11, 7:47 p.m.
    user avatar

    For example, I'm offended by...
    BET - Black Entertainment Television, now that IS racist.
    FUBU Clothing - Daymond is a RACIST...For Us By Us...how is that ok? Seems racist to me and offends me.
    United Negro College Fund - Racist!!! What if we started a fund and called it "United White College Fund"? Why is one ok but the other would be accused of being controlled by white supremacist or the KKK.
    So this is just a short list of things that OFFEND ME!!!

  • Joe Eastland Sep 11, 7:42 p.m.
    user avatar

    Who should decide what goes and what stays, or better yet what takes its place? Do the few or the many decide? If we let one group that is offended make the rules, do all groups that are offended have the same rights? Or is it just "certain" groups.

    These are questions inquiring minds want to know.

  • Mike Blackwell Sep 11, 12:22 p.m.
    user avatar

    Just like ISIS destroyed Palmyra because they feel it promoted idol worship, the far left say the Confederate monuments promote all sorts of social ills. I say "bunk." I am a life long Democrat and I say leave them alone.

  • Phillip Mozingo Sep 11, 7:49 a.m.
    user avatar

    It should read "The people of NC file to remove Gov. Cooper from Capital!"

  • Charlie Watkins Sep 10, 6:53 a.m.
    user avatar

    And drop the Tar Heel name from the state of NC and from UNC.

    Let's see how stupid we can make this statue nonsense.

  • William Sherman Sep 10, 1:43 a.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Got to call for some references regarding your definition of the term snowflake. It was my understanding that the term referred to individuals--liberal/leftist/socialist who are so tender and immature as to required "quiet spaces" to recover from words/ideas that upset them; Like a true snowflake, they melt away when faced with truth and facts. Generally react to statements of fact by using terms such as "racist", "haters", etc.

  • Rod Runner Sep 10, 1:28 a.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I guess that means you've never read the secession documents for some of the states that left the Union, huh? They clearly say they are leaving the Union because the Northern states are not supporting their constitutional rights by returning their runaway slaves. Mississippi even goes so far as to say they cannot possibly live without slaves because Africans are the only ones capable of working in their climate.

    If you read those secession documents and read the article you linked to, you'll clearly know the article is biased and not telling the whole truth just to make a false point. This is quite sad.