Confederate Monuments

Ann Doss Helms / WFAE

Gaston County commissioners voted 6-1 Monday night to move a Confederate monument that has stood in front of the courthouse since 1912.

Ann Doss Helms / WFAE

Gaston County Commissioners have scheduled a special meeting Monday to vote on removing a Confederate monument outside the Gaston County courthouse.

Ann Doss Helms / WFAE

A majority of Gaston County commissioners Tuesday night agreed to seek legislative approval to let citizens vote whether to remove a Confederate monument outside the county courthouse. The move followed a public hearing where most speakers favored removal.   

Ann Doss Helms

Gaston County commissioners will get a report on the county's Confederate monument Tuesday night, at a meeting that's expected to draw a crowd in a time of racial tension.

Feelings were already running high two weeks ago, when a volunteer advisory panel voted 7-5 to remove the Confederate soldier on a pedestal that has stood outside Gaston County’s courthouse since 1912. Some said it’s a tribute to soldiers who fought bravely. Others denounced it as a monument to white supremacy.

Lydia Robinson
Alexandra Watts / WFAE

A Confederate monument and a confrontation at a local ice cream shop in Gastonia brought people out to protest this week. 

Ann Doss Helms / WFAE

A panel of Gaston County residents voted 7-5 Monday to remove a Confederate monument that has stood in front of the county courthouse for 88 years. The vote came after heated debate over whether the statue represents white supremacy. 

Courtesy Sam Spencer

A squat, stone marker honoring the Confederacy has been removed from its Plexiglas container near Charlotte's Grady Cole Center, and the chair of the Mecklenburg County Commission says there is no plan yet to return it, despite a state law governing the removal of historical markers.

Crews completed the shrouding of the Vance Monument in Asheville's downtown Pack Square, while removing a marker in front of the 65-foot high obelisk that contained a likeness of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

Wearing Civil War costumes, a group stands guard and places a wreath at a Civil War monument on the South Carolina Statehouse grounds. 7/10/20
Michael Falero / WFAE

About 50 people from opposing groups gathered Friday morning outside the South Carolina State House, where a Confederate flag was removed from the grounds five years ago.

Greg Collard / WFAE

A Confederate monument outside the Anson County Courthouse has been taken down and will perhaps move to what the county manager says is a “prominent location” on private property.

Ann Doss Helms / WFAE

There was a lot of talk about unity and common ground at the first meeting of Gaston’s Council of Understanding, but sharp differences emerged, too. Twelve volunteers gathered to hear each other’s views of the towering Confederate monument that stands outside the courthouse where they met.

Dashiell Coleman / WFAE

Twelve volunteers will walk past a towering Confederate monument into the Gaston County Courthouse Tuesday to discuss whether that statue should be removed. The outcome will provide one measure of just how much perspectives are shifting on matters of race, power and history. 

Robert E. Lee buttons
N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

A button that experts believe was from Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's dress coat and a strand of hair from his horse are among the items found inside a time capsule discovered when workers removed the base of a Confederate statue from the grounds of the North Carolina state Capitol.

The City of Wilmington has removed two monuments from the downtown area.

In an email on Thursday, June 25th, a city spokesperson describes the move as “temporary” and in accordance with North Carolina law.

Crews in Raleigh removed the largest remnants of a 75-foot-tall Confederate monument that sat near the grounds of the state Capitol for 125 years.

Charleston Votes To Remove Statue Of Slavery Advocate

Jun 23, 2020
John C. Calhoun statue
Ron Cogswell / Flickr

CHARLESTON, S.C.  — Officials in the historic South Carolina city of Charleston voted unanimously Tuesday to remove a statue of former vice president and slavery advocate John C. Calhoun from a downtown square, the latest in a wave of actions arising from protests against racism and police brutality against African Americans.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' Zebulon Vance High isn't likely to have that name much longer. But the name and the school are deeply entangled with the history of race and education in Charlotte. 

Ron Cogswell / Flickr

RALEIGH — Crews on Saturday removed two Confederate statues outside the North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh on order of the governor, the morning after protesters toppled two nearby statues.

Protesters in Raleigh pulled down parts of a Confederate monument Friday night after marching in celebration of Juneteenth.

More than 60 lawyers in North Carolina have signed onto a letter urging legislative leaders and Governor Roy Cooper to remove Confederate monuments immediately.

In a narrow 4-3 party line vote Tuesday night, Buncombe County commissioners approved a resolution to remove two Confederate monuments in downtown Asheville.  The decision came one week after Asheville City council approved the same resolution unanimously.

Ron Cogswell / Flickr

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The nationwide uproar over police brutality and racism has led to the toppling and removal of Confederate monuments. How did these icons become part of the landscape in the first place?

This program originally aired March 12, 2019

Defying Law, Charleston To Remove Statue Of Slavery Advocate

Jun 17, 2020
Ron Cogswell / Flickr

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Defying state law, officials in the historic city of Charleston, South Carolina, announced Wednesday that they plan to remove a statue of slavery advocate John C. Calhoun from a downtown square.

The bureaucratic red tape that normally prevents politicians from rapidly changing their cityscapes is falling away as protesters demanding racial justice insist that Confederate monuments be swept into the dustbin of history.

The Rocky Mount City Council has voted to remove a Confederate monument from a city park.

The 6-1 vote during Tuesday night's budget meeting was prompted by Councilman Andre Knight during a discussion about renovations in Battle Park, the Rocky Mount Telegram reported.

Fibonacci Blue / flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

RICHMOND, Va. — Protesters demonstrating against the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed his knee on his neck, targeted Confederate monuments in multiple cities.

Judge Voids Deal Giving UNC Statue To Confederate Group

Feb 12, 2020
In August 2018, protesters toppled Confederate statue "Silent Sam" on the UNC Chapel Hill campus.
Jasmin Herrera / WFAE

RALEIGH — The fate of a Confederate statue torn down by protesters was thrown back into uncertainty Wednesday when a judge overturned a settlement by the University of North Carolina's governing board that gave the monument to a Confederate heritage group along with money to preserve it.

Silent Sam Confederate monument
Jasmin Herrera

CHAPEL HILL  — The University of North Carolina Board of Governors violated the state's open meetings laws by secretly negotiating and approving a deal to dispose of a Confederate monument from the campus of the system's flagship school, according to a lawsuit filed by a student newspaper.

Commentary: Confederate Christmas Ornaments Send The Same Racist Message As Statues

Dec 21, 2019

As Christmas approaches, many families undertake a familiar ritual: an annual sojourn to the attic, basement or closet to pull out a box of treasured ornaments bought, created and collected over years, even generations.

Hanging these ornaments on the tree is an opportunity to reconnect with memories of personal milestones, holiday icons and, in many cases, destinations visited.

But, I argue, it may be time to take some of these old travel keepsakes off the tree.


HILLSBOROUGH — A judge won't let students intervene in a settlement that gave a Confederate heritage group money to preserve a monument that protesters tore down at North Carolina's flagship public university.