DECATUR, Ga. – DeKalb County Commissioners voted to officially move the Confederate monument located in the middle of Decatur Square near the courthouse.
The commissioners voted 6-1 on Tuesday. The only commissioner who opposed was Nancy Jester. She was also the lone 'no' vote during the October vote.
Activists stood and cheered when the decision was made. They told 11Alive it's been a long time coming.
"I'm ashamed of that heritage," said Rev. Hannah Hill from Cooperative Baptist Church. "I'm not proud of that heritage, and to recognize my ancestors did something wrong is the right thing to do."
11Alive reached out to the Sons of the Confederacy to get their reaction. They sent a statement saying: “The Georgia Sons of the Confederacy knows that their action is unlawful. The law is clear that they can’t move or relocate monuments of Confederate Veterans. So our hope is the State Of Georgia will stop them and if not, penalize them for violating state law.”
The next step will be to decide where the monument will be moved. Part of the resolution will allow people and businesses to submit proposals for the new location. The monument must be in a publicly accessible space, according to state law.
State law indicates the 30-foot statue cannot be destroyed, hidden or placed into storage. The commissioners voted back in October, by a 6-1 margin, to move the monument it to another site, likely a graveyard or a museum.
However, before the county could remove the monument they had to determine who actually owned monument itself.
When construction of the monument was originally authorized and directed by the Camp of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy in the early 1900s, there was a formal dedication ceremony, but no clear indication that ownership was turned over to DeKalb County.
The county wants to move quickly since the monument was vandalized two times in the past few months.
- DeKalb County to vote Tuesday on whether to remove Confederate monument
- DeKalb Commissioners approve removal of Confederate monument
- The future of the Decatur Confederate monument hangs in the balance