Today at 9 a.m. a group of around 200 people gathered into the small Lamar County Commissioners courtroom to discuss relocating the confederate monument that stands outside the courthouse in a special session.
The 100 plus year-old statue is sixteen-feet of gray Texas granite with figures of bronze. The base is of solid blocks of granite which support large busts of President Davis, Gens. R. E. Lee, T. J. Jackson, and J. E. Johnston. Today the monument was surrounded by confederate flags in union of having it stay where it is.
Judge Chuck Superville was quoted as saying the following during the course of the meeting, “it’s undeniable that this monument is a symbol that’s causing division in our community. This monument is hurting our image as a unified and diverse community and we are being portrayed as something that we are not. This community is made up of great, great people. I believe relocating this to a more appropriate place sends a message to the world; a message that we accept and respect all people. We need to take a stance and evolve as a community. We are not what they say we are. Many people express that the social fibers of our society needs to be healed. Many believe it’s a symbol of our history and needs to be protected at all cost.”
Superville went on to say, “I was prepared to come here today to make a motion to the court that we relocate the monument, however we received a letter from the Texas Historical Commission yesterday and won’t be able to do that today.” The crowd erupted with shouts of no, but very quickly the judge gained control of the crowd and began to quote from the letter. The letter was addressed to The Honorable Chuck Superville and stated, ‘we are in receipt of an unsigned application for the issuance of a permit under the State Antiquities Code for the removal of a sculpture from the grounds of the Lamar County Courthouse.’ The letter also stated ‘the THC has a period of sixty days from the receipt of a permit application to issue or deny the permit.’ What this means is the THC has to approve a signed application in order for the commissioners to even vote on the relocation.
The commissioners took a vote to submit the permit application allowing them to vote on the relocation. The vote was 2 to 2 in which Judge Superville and Lawrence Malone voted to submit the application. The majority of the crowd was pleased with the vote to not submit the permit application and cheered.
One individual from the crowd asked Superville, “so what happens next?” Superville replied, “technically it is in the hands of the THC, however without a permit, the monument stays.”