Pastor asks Albertville City Council for support in removing Confederate flag

Northeast Alabama

ALBERTVILLE, Ala. — Monday was a big night for people who want the Confederate flag in front of the Marshall County Courthouse taken down.

Local pastor Ben Alford planned to address the Albertville City Council with a proposition regarding the removal of the flag.

Alford and members of Say Their Names Alabama said they hope City Council members will back them in their ongoing fight to have the flag removed. Say Their Names members told News 19 their demands fell on deaf ears at the Marshall County Commission.

Marshall County commissioner Ricky Watson was at Monday night’s meeting, but did not comment.

There was support and disagreement from members of the public at the meeting.

Albertville resident Sandy Hardin said she would like for Marshall County to lead the country in how to compromise.

“Instead of moving our Confederate monument, instead of tearing it down, why not establish a monument to go beside the Confederate monument and honor those who fought in the world as slaves and gave their life as slaves “ said Albertville resident Sandy Hardin.

She said if that’s not possible, then there should be a vote on whether to remove the Confederate flag and monuments.

Albertville resident Alan Battle said he does not think the Confederate flag belongs on public property.

“You have everybody going to this new park and recreation thing and they go right by this. If NiKKi Haley can do it, Ole Miss can do it, NASCAR can do it and the U.S. Army can do it, we can do it,” said Battle.

Say Their Names Alabama leader Unique Dunston also spoke to the council.

She quoted Confederate general and first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, Nathan Bedford Forrest: ‘If we aint fighting to keep slavery, then what the hell are we fighting for.’

“Nobody in this room is responsible for slavery, but we are responsible for dismantling the white supremacy that stems from it. The men who fought for the Confederacy may have been strong, courageous, family oriented and hard working, but they also fought for the right to own other people as property. Removing hate and white supremacy from our courthouses should not be a battle in 2020,” said Dunston.

Dunston told News 19 her activist group vows to continue protesting in front of the courthouse in Albertville every two weeks until the flag comes down.

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