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Charlotte Area News

Gaston County Confederate Monument To Remain At Courthouse

Dashiell Coleman
A Confederate soldier stands atop a 30-foot pedestal outside the Gaston County Courthouse, seen here July 2.

The Confederate monument outside the Gaston County courthouse will stay where it’s at for now.

County commissioners voted on Aug. 3 to remove the monument and give it to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. But after the group refused to take it Friday, commissioners on Tuesday voted 4-3 to rescind their offer. Commissioners also voted on another resolution to look for another group to take the statue, but that failed in a 4–3 vote.

Thomas Gillespie was part of the Council of Understanding, an advisory group assembled by the county in July. The group recommended the monument’s removal. Gillespie says keeping the monument at the courthouse reflects on the county.

“I think it will have long repercussions long after our day is gone," Gillespie said at Tuesday's meeting. "I pray that this monument will be relocated. Nobody is saying tear it down, nobody is saying do anything to it.” 

But some residents, like Angie Graham, say it’s not meant to be racist or divisive and is a part of history.

“This monument was put up in 1912, and it has been at the courthouse since the 1990s," Graham said. "And it is just now oppressing people? Taking down this monument and all the other monuments is disrespecting all the men and women who fought and died to give us the freedom we have today."

The Gaston County Freedom Fighters, which wants the statue moved, has expressed interest in taking the monument.