Pasquotank chapter of the NAACP calls on county, city leaders to remove confederate memorial

Posted at 6:52 PM, Jul 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-01 18:52:41-04

Elizabeth City, NC - A confederate monument just feet from the Pasquotank County Courthouse has stood undisputed since it was built in 1911, until now.

"We're going to go to the end until it is removed," says Raymond Rivers Sr., Vice President of the Pasquotank Branch of the NAACP.

The group sent a letter to Pasquotank County Commissioners and Elizabeth City Council to ask for the monument to be removed or at least moved to a museum. In the letter, they say the confederate flag was most recently "used as the ornament in the brutal and senseless killing of nine Americans in Charleston, South Carolina."

However, commissioners in support of the removal argue that the memorial was always a contentious issue.

"We thought it would be something that remained here regardless of what we say or what we do," says Cecil Perry, vice president of the Pasquotank County Commissioners. "It's an opportunity for us to act."

The request has since raised questions about what the memorial really means and how it should be handled.

Some commissioners tell NewsChannel 3, the memorial should simply be viewed as a war memorial, and removing it would take away what relatives of the current community once fought for.

For others, it has simply put them in a tough position.

"It's going to be a long, long road to make these decisions," says Lloyd Griffin, a Pasquotank County commissioner. "We all have to be proud to be an American as well as our history that we are supporting and fighting for."

Both sides have agreed that the topic needs to be discussed in an open forum. They plan to do that at the next county council meeting on July 13th.