Unique Dunston of the group Reclaiming Our Time and Greg Hundley of Guntersville offered a solution Monday for the beleaguered Confederate monument located on the grounds of the branch Courthouse in Albertville.
They recommended that the City Council encourage the Marshall County Commission to relocate the monument and they would like it to be relocated to the Guntersville City Cemetery.
Their reasoning is that the City Cemetery is the final resting place for a number of Confederate soldiers and that it would be more appropriate for the monument than the grounds of a public building like the branch Courthouse.
“It can be placed near the graves of those it represents,” read a sample resolution they provided to the Council.
“The ‘Confederate Monument’ currently sits on the grounds of the Marshall County Courthouse in Albertville, Alabama, alongside the flag of the United States of America,” the sample resolution reads. “The Marshall County Economic Development Council has worked diligently and successfully for many years to attract industries from around the globe to invest in Marshall County. Does Marshall County want to publicly display on government grounds a monument widely associated with racial hatred and white supremacy? What message does that send to potential investors?
“Marshall County’s economy is highly dependent on foreign investment and immigrant labor,” the resolution continues. “The ‘Confederate Monument’ does not represent them. Marshall County has a historic African-American population whose ancestors were enslaved and terrorized by a system of white supremacy. The ‘Confederate Monument’ does not represent them. Both of those groups have to walk past the monument to go into the courthouse, which is supposed to be a place of justice for all. What message do they get when they are forced to walk by a monument to a movement associated with white supremacy?”
Dr. Pete Sparks, local historian, said he thought passing any resolution to relocate the monument at this point on the city’s part would be “putting the cart before the horse.”
“We don’t know that the County Commission is going to vote to move the monument,” he said. “It would be like passing a resolution to ban pet giraffes because someone might be going to get one and I don’t want a giraffe leaning over the fence to eat my shrubs or voting to reserve some space at the City Harbor in case the City of Mobile were to give us the USS Alabama.”
Herb Neu of Grant, former publisher of Old Tuscaloosa, and a self-described former “honorary member” of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said the Confederate flag is a symbol of racial divide and he said it didn’t become popular until the Dukes of Hazzard TV show.
No action was taken on the request to relocate the monument.
Dunston also asked the Council to consider passing a resolution urging the County Commission to remove the Confederate battle flag from the branch Courthouse grounds.