By Sebastian Kitchen
A monument with a Confederate battle flag on one side will remain in front of the Montgomery Civic Center after the City Council overwhelmingly defeated a resolution to move it. Seven of the nine council members voted against moving the historic marker during their meeting this morning. Councilmen James Nuckles, who sponsored the resolution, and Willie Cook were the only members to vote in favor of moving the monument.
The marker, which has been in place since 1979, marks the location of the 1861 offices of the Confederate government and the cabinet of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
While Nuckles and other members of the black community argued the Confederate flag is offensive to segments of the population, others argued the monument is educational and marks a historic location.
Nuckles said he knew it was an uphill battle to change mindsets in the community. With the current economic development downtown, he said he thought it was an opportune time to find a more suitable location.
"Under no circumstances am I trying to rewrite history," he said. "I just figure with that marker being so prominent where it is located right in front of the new construction of the hotel and civic center, that somebody may have known that it would be offensive to a certain segment of the population that lives here and persons that come to town. "
John Napier, who was camp commander of the Thomas Goode Jones Camp No. 259 Sons of Confederate Veterans when the monument was donated to the city, said it has been there for 26 years without controversy.
"I think it is a victory for all of Montgomery," Napier said. "We need to preserve all of our heritage. … I believe we need to know about all of our history, even if it is unpleasant."
Citizen John Reynolds said he is against moving any historic marker.
"They’re there for a specific reason," he said. "I see no legitimate reason to move it whatsoever. They are there for a purpose."
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