Palmetto Sunrise: Neighbors move to shield Confederate memorials

While South Carolina’s law requires action from the legislature to remove any monuments on the Statehouse’s grounds, North Carolina’s bill would require the General Assembly’s approval for any monument statewide. (Paul Zoeller/Staff)

COLUMBIA — A week after the Palmetto State’s legislature voted to furl the Statehouse’s Confederate battle flag, members of the North Carolina House of Representatives advanced a bill that would protect Confederate monuments from “knee-jerk reactions.”

The bill’s sponsor Sen. Dan Soucek, who represents a district that borders Tennessee and Virginia, noted it was introduced before the slaying of nine parishioners in Charleston on June 17, The Associated Press reported. The bill, which passed the N.C. Senate in April, would bar state or local authorities from permanently removing an object on public land that “commemorates an event, person or military service that is part of North Carolina’s history” without the General Assembly’s approval.

During Wednesday’s discussions, Republicans said historical monuments, even ones that evoke negative feelings, deserve to be preserved. North Carolina has an estimated 120 Civil War memorials, the majority related to the Confederacy, according to The News & Observer.

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