Activists seek support from Guntersville city council on removal of Confederate flag on county property

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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – The group requesting the removal and relocation of the Confederate flag outside the Marshall County courthouse in Albertville is once again seeking allies from other local government groups.

Reclaiming Our Time members and other activist groups have been coming to Marshall County for almost an entire year demanding the county commission bring down the Confederate flag.

They have attended commission meetings but the issue has yet to be discussed.

In hopes of getting other local government entities to back them, activists stopped by the Guntersville City Council meeting Monday asking the council to sign two resolutions.

The first saying the council will encourage the county commission to remove the Confederate flag.

“The bottom line even though everyone says it was a states’ rights issue. It was states’ rights are own slaves and not much else, so this is really why so many are offended when they see the so-called Confederate flag still showing after the war ended and Union soldiers and the Confederate soldiers made peace with each other. So, I think it’s time now to forget this misguided history that so many of the Southern schools have been teaching. Slavery was unconscionable then. The ancestors of the slaves still feel that the flag is still unconscionable,” said Grant resident Herb New.

The other resolution would offer a spot inside the city cemetery to house the Confederate monument currently sitting next to the flag if and when the county decides to relocate it.

“All we’re asking is for our elected officials from any city to take a stand and say, ‘You know what, we have learned from the history of the Confederacy and everything that has been presented to us from our constituents and the petition that this is an issue that needs to be addressed,” said Reclaiming Our Time founder Unique Dunston.

Others at the city council meeting said the council should hold off until the county makes a decision.

“This request is not to solve a problem but to create one. This is not about solutions, this is about power. This is pure political pandering. This is putting the cart before the horse,” said Dr. Pete Sparks.

Dr. Sparks made an example by requesting some resolutions of his own.

“I want an ordinance to ban giraffes as pets in this city. I don’t want a giraffe leaning over my fence eating my shrubs so just in case somebody’s thinking about getting a giraffe, I’d like for you to go ahead and ban that,” requested Sparks.

Reclaiming Our Time hasn’t put a deadline on when they would like the council to pass resolutions because Dunston says she wants them to think it through and educate themselves on why the Confederate flag should not be on county property.

She tells News 19, though, that they are willing to keep up their hard work for as long as it takes to get it removed.

Protesters were outside the Albertville City Hall before the council meeting and were hoping to ask members once again for support.

However, group members were unaware of a protocol change where permission to speak at a council meeting must be submitted beforehand.

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