Orangeburg may remove Confederate statue from city park

VIDEO: Orangeburg may remove Confederate statue from city park

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WCSC) - Orangeburg City Council is considering a resolution that would remove a Confederate statue from Courthouse Square.

The 30-foot monument with a solider on top was built to honor the Orangeburg Confederate soldiers who died during the Civil War.

One side reads: “A grateful tribute to the brave defenders of our rights, our honor, and our homes.”

Orangeburg Mayor Michael Butler said he is in favor of this resolution.

“I understand the sentiment by those who want to remove statues or historical leaders who promote social injustice, but Orangeburg City Council wants to do it the right way,” Butler said. “There are laws regarding the removal of those statues and we will follow the established protocol to have them removed.”

The Heritage Act forbids the removal of memorials for any historic figure or event from public property without a two-thirds vote of the South Carolina state legislature.

Butler said council’s vote is the first step in the process to get the state to let local governments make the call on removing statues.

Activist William Green said he has asked city council to take down the statue multiple times.

“For the citizens of Orangeburg, if you want a place to grow, you need to get rid of anything that represents any kind of hate or prejudice,” Green said. “If you take the statue down it’s not going to erase what happened in the past, but it’ll help us look forward to what’s going on in the future.”

Not everyone is in favor of taking it down. David Farr said he wants the monument to stay.

“People have gotten on the bandwagon wanting everything having to do with the Confederacy and history, not just the Confederacy, but many historical items removed because they don’t suit the opinions of certain people,” Farr said. “Everyone has an opinion and everyone has a feeling of what they like and don’t like. There’s room for everybody. But, to continue removing monuments and things of history is ridiculous.”

On Tuesday, city council members will vote on the resolution.

During that same meeting, they will also consider a resolution to rename John C. Calhoun Drive, a resolution prohibiting the use of chokeholds and strangle holds, and an ordinance requiring individuals to wear face coverings in retail and food service establishments.

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