Has a Brunswick County Controversial Display Gone Too Far?

Posted: Jan 31, 2008

BRUNSWICK COUNTY — A controversial display has neighbors in Brunswick County and history buffs in Wilmington divided. Is it a joke or one taken too far?

A recreation at Fort Fisher keeps the history of the Civil War alive with cannons clamoring, guns gusting, and banjos blaring.

Southern history and pride run generations deep in North Carolina, where the hatred between the north and south is part of the past.

However, if you take a drive down Stone Chimney Road you can see the hatred is still alive, hanging from a noose.

"That’s just southern justice. Don’t come around here and mess around, you’ll get hung," said Fredrick Raines a supporter.

Front and center at the junkyard near Varnamtown, a union soldier hangs by a noose, a southern soldier stands guard, and a confederate flag blows in the breeze.

The sign there reads, "Brunswick County Department of Justice."

"If they don’t like it, they don’t have to look at it," said resident Melissa Patton.

How can a driver’s eye or children getting off the shcoolbus across the street avoid such a large symbol?

The people that put it up say it’s just a joke and freedom of expression. But, to men in uniform, it’s not a laughing matter.

Is this hanging union soldier perpetuating hate or just another push at freedom of expression?

The people who put it up, told WECT off camera they have no intentions of taking it down. Regardless of whether that’s right or wrong, the story and emotions of the Civil War aren’t just recorded in history books. You can find history hanging around on a winding road in Brunswick County.

© Copyright 2001 – 2008 WorldNow and WECT

On The Web: http://www.wect.com/Global/story.asp?s=7804374