BRUNSWICK, Ga. – A Confederate monument that has stood in the city of Brunswick for 119 years could soon be on the move after the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled against those who wanted the monument to stay.
It sparked controversy after the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery last year. Regina McDuffie, the city manager, said Thursday that there are talks of relocation, but there’s no set timeframe.
Inside Hanover Square, the 20-foot monument erected in 1902 sits on public property. Written on the side: “A tribute of love from the Ladies’ Memorial Association of Brunswick, Georgia, to the heroes of the confederacy 1861 to 1865.”
“The city was waiting for the court rulings in order to proceed with the removal,” McDuffie said.
According to McDuffie, the city of Brunswick has been debating what to do with the monument since last year. There was a lawsuit filed to block the removal, and the Georgia Court of Appeals made a ruling against that suit.
“There was a great public outcry to remove the statue because they felt like it was a celebration of the Confederacy and the lost cause,” said McDuffie.
McDuffie said the city established a nine-person committee in June to make a recommendation to the board of commissioners on what to do with the monument. It then voted in favor of removing it, pending the court ruling.
“I think there was a lot of things heightened during that time for Confederate monuments and especially on publicly owned property,” she said. “People did raise the question of why the statue was still there.”
McDuffie said there was public outcry to remove the monument.
Mayor Cornell Harvey had previously told News4Jax that Georgia state law would not allow the city to dismantle the monument without plans to move it to another location.
While there is no real documentation on who owns the monument, city officials say the monument is sitting on city property, therefore they can move it.
News4Jax has requested comment from the mayor and city attorney.