The committee that was established by the North Carolina Historical Commission to study Confederate monuments is scheduled to meet Monday afternoon to discuss parameters for an upcoming public meeting.
The committee has been studying the issue over the last several months after a request from the office of Democratic Governor Roy Cooper to remove three Confederate memorials from the old Capitol grounds and place them at the Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site in Four Oaks.
During Monday’s meeting, the committee is set to determine parameters for the upcoming meeting where the public is invited to express views on the proposal. Public comments can also be submitted through an online portal.
The commission has received attention after focus on Confederate monuments has been increasing, especially after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017 where a counter protester was killed. The rally had been billed as a protest of the local government’s decision to work toward removing Confederate monuments on town-owned land.
The statue honoring UNC – Chapel Hill students killed while fighting for the Confederacy known as Silent Sam has been a point of protest for decades. But calls for its removal from the Chapel Hill campus have been consistent since a rally on the first day of the fall semester last year.
UNC – Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt and the campus Board of Trustees have maintained that they do not have the authority to order Silent Sam be removed due to a 2015 law passed by the Republican-led General Assembly preventing the movement of objects of remembrance.
While protesters have asked that Chapel Hill officials petition the historical commission to move Silent Sam, Folt has stated that request would have to come from the UNC System Board of Governors rather than the campus. And UNC System President Margaret Spellings said at a recent press conference that she had not seen a change in attitude from the Board of Governors regarding the statue.
“I don’t think there has been a shift,” Spellings said, adding “they have not conveyed a change of heart to me.”
Monday’s historical commission meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m.
The meeting is scheduled to be livestreamed through the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ Youtube page.