Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Denton County reaffirms decision to remove Confederate memorial

Memorial to Confederate soldiers outside the Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square.

On Thursday, the Denton County Commissioners Court unanimously agreed to re-execute and clarify its application with the Texas Historical Commission to remove the Confederate memorial from the Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square.

The monument of a lone Confederate soldier facing south was erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy in 1918. In Denton, it’s been a point of contention for years. Petitions have pushed for the statue to be removed, just as petitions have pushed for it to be kept up. In 2018, the Commissioners Court voted to keep the monument but add historical context around it. But recent weeks, during Black Lives Matter protests around the country, many Confederate monuments have been vandalized and/or torn down, prompting the commissioners to vote last week to remove it and relocate it to another county property.

“In weighing the potential for further harm to our businesses, potential for harm to anyone who might seek to destroy it and the law enforcement resources needed to protect it, we believe relocation is the right step,” Denton County Judge Andy Eads said last week.

The county then sent a state antiquities permit application to the Texas Historical Commission, seeking permission to remove and relocate the memorial. This week, the THC met with Denton County leaders and came to a “compromise for the removal,” that involved adding context to the memorial, said Peggy Riddle, director of the Denton County Office of History and Culture, during a special Commissioners Court meeting on Thursday.

The Texas Historical Commission gave a timeline of one year for the relocation. There is not yet a firm plan for when and where the monument will be relocated.

The county commissioners also approved a new agenda item that the Texas Historical Commission would maintain a guardianship role of the monument in the future.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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