ELIZABETHTON, TN HISTORIC ZONING COMMISSION DENIES CONFEDERATE HISTORICAL MARKER
Although having nothing in Tennessee Codes Annotated forbidding the placing of a memorial purchased by the Lt. Robert J. Tipton Camp #2053 of Elizabethton, TN, the Elizabethton Historic Zoning Committee denied the placement. Having already been influenced by the Watauga Historical Association into believing placing the memorial would lead to other organizations such as D.A.R., etc., wishing to place a memorial, they would have to be oblige them to allow future placements. They sounded, suspiciously, like they were using the arguments Dawn Peters of the Watauga Historical Association used when she objected to flag poles in Green Hill Cemetery. The whole fiasco was politically motivated and obviously decided before the meeting began.
The committee claimed that since the present Veterans Monument stood for the "soldiers of all time", therefore a special monument to Confederate soldiers was unnecessary and unwanted. The Elizabethton Camp now has a nice $2,200 memorial sitting in a warehouse with no place to put it. Representing the Sons of Confederate Veterans in the meeting held in the Elizabethton Municipal Building at 6:00 pm were Rev. Rick Morrell and Bill Hicks of Vaughn’s Brigade, speaking for the Elizabethton Camp; accenting the positive value of the memorial.
A representative from Nashville, a Mr. Brown, who was called in to obviously add an aura of “Big Brother”, stated the local zoning committee had the final say, makes one wonder if he was not there to let the local zoning planners know they were under scrutiny, also admitting the historical zoning programs are part of a federal government plan. If he had no influence over them, I wonder why he was there! He did issue a veiled threat that threatened action on the City as to bringing a hearing which could take away the status of a historical zoned area, thereby eliminating grants to the City! Ahh, the plot thickens as it sickens!
Speakers from the Watauga Historical Association, rose to insult the dignity and honor of the Confederate veteran, claiming that Confederate soldiers were traitors. The W.H.A., while claiming to be an historical oriented organization have prejudiced themselves by doing everything possible to damage our flags and our good names, apparently wishing to disassociate themselves from their own heritage. One man from W.H.A. arose to say he did not want the memorial because of the way Carter County residents were treated during the era of the war. Fear was also expressed that Confederate flags might also show up near the memorial. Playing the race card, a black man arose, to say he would be offended to pass by such a memorial, stating the S.C.V. should give its money to the poor. Two members of the W.H.A. are residents of Jonesborough, only citing their street address prior to speaking.
According to Tennessee Code 13-7-408, the historic zoning commission has 30 days to detail in writing why the appropriateness of the certificate was declined.
We move on. Duty is ours; consequences are God’s.