ALBERTVILLE, Ala. – Two different groups faced off Wednesday in Marshall County, one demanding the removal of Confederate symbols from outside the Marshall County courthouse and the other demanding they stay put.
Say Their Names Alabama representatives started by speaking to commissioners at their biweekly meeting at 9 a.m.
“The rebel flag does not represent all Americans so it should not be at a place where all Americans in the county come, which is the courthouse. So, it is out of place and it has been out of place since they placed it here in 2005,” said Say Their Names Alabama leader Unique Dunston.
After the meeting, the group went to the courthouse in Albertville to demonstrate with holding signs, chanting, and marching
The group is demanding the removal and relocation of the Confederate flag and monument from outside the courthouse in Albertville, and the removal of the Confederate statue outside the courthouse in Guntersville.
“As ugly and hateful the Confederacy was, it is our history, so I think it a compromise that we’re willing to make to relocate it to somewhere that doesn’t stand for justice as our courthouses do,” said Dunston.
Dunston wants the statues to be relocated to either the Albertville Museum or a nearby cemetery where other Confederate veterans have been laid to rest.
About two dozen members and supporters of Captain John Rayburn Camp 452 Sons of Confederate Veterans group were also at the commission meeting and the assembly.
“Regardless of how the next person feels, I’m not going to take my flag down. If I got anything to do with it, ain’t no monument going to come down, said Captain John Rayburn Camp 452 Sons of Confederate Veterans member Daniel Sims.
Sims, who is Black, told WHNT News 19 he was adopted when he was three years old, by a white family.
“My whole family’s white. I went to all white school. Grew up in an all-white neighborhood. My grandfather was white and he was the main one that fought in this war here and he’s taught me everything I know,” said Sims.
He explained how he’d feel if the statues and flag were relocated.
“It may make my blood boil if they just come up here and feel like they can just tear it down. I don’t see me still living if they do that right there. That monument ain’t hurting nobody. That monument ain’t killing a soul. It’s ain’t talking bad to nobody. It’s ain’t even racist,” Sims said.
Dunston said that despite the opposition from some, she is confident her group will be successful in removing the flag and monuments.
Say Their Names Alabama members plan to be at every Marshall County Commission meeting and demonstrating at the courthouse here until the flag and monuments are removed.