Confederate monument

Confederates and colored water.

I’ve talked about Wilson County’s courthouse monument before. There’s renewed pressure to remove it, but its apologists claim it’s not a Confederate monument at all. Rather, it commemorates veterans of all wars. 

I’ll let y0u be the judge. 

Does the deceptively simple motif below seem familiar? It’s a Saint Andrew’s cross, a notable element of Confederate national and battle flags.

It’s engraved an astounding TEN TIMES around the monument, including the two locations below. (The rough indentation on the front of the plinth? It’s where the word COLORED was gouged out in the early 1960s. There was a water fountain where that little pyramid now sits. Isn’t that reason enough to get this thing out of the public eye?)

Two more. And so on.

The monument went up on Veterans Day 1926, paid for by the John W. Dunham Chapter of United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Thomas Hadley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. It’s on public property, steps away from the county courthouse, a building symbolizing the power and authority of local government. 

Recent North Carolina law makes retiring these relics difficult — but not impossible. I urge Wilson County Commissioners to find a way. 

Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, July 2023.

County urged to remove Confederate monument.

This ought to be easy. Then again, so should doing right by Vick Cemetery.

The bronze plaque — underneath the crossed flags and between the segregated water fountains — reads: To the valor of Wilson County soldiers. Who really believes the United Daughters of the Confederacy intended in 1926 to honor all Wilson County veterans?

Take them down, too.

Here are Wilson’s two Confederate monuments. The clock is ticking.


XConfederate monument


“Although Confederate monuments are sometimes designated as historic, and while many were erected more than a century ago, the National Trust [for Historic Preservation] supports their removal from our public spaces when they continue to serve the purposes for which many were built—to glorify, promote, and reinforce white supremacy, overtly or implicitly.

“While some have suggested that removal may result in erasing history, we believe that removal may be necessary to achieve the greater good of ensuring racial justice and equality. And their history needs not end with their removal: we support relocation of these monuments to museums or other places where they may be preserved so that their history as elements of Jim Crow and racial injustice can be recognized and interpreted.”

Read National Trust’s full Statement on Confederate Monuments:

Photos, Wilson, June 2020.