Controversial Bill Would Protect Civil War Memorials

Monday, 25 Feb 2013 12:58 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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A hotly debated bill that would protect memorials commemorating Tennessee’s Civil War heroes — making it harder for them to be moved or renamed — is being considered by state lawmakers.

“I just want to preserve our history,’’ Republican Rep. Steve McDaniel, who is sponsoring the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act, told The Tennessean newspaper.

The law would apply to most memorials that recognize major U.S. conflicts. But it is those that involve the Civil War that have stirred controversy because of their roots in the fight over slavery.

The proposal has already prompted officials in Memphis to quickly rename three parks that honored Civil War figures, including one for Confederate Gen. Forrest Hall, The Tennessean said.

The Ku Klux Klan is reportedly seeking a permit to hold a protest against the renaming of the parks.

The bill, expected to be voted on Monday night, would force groups who want to move or rename a memorial to apply to the Tennessee Historical Commission.


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