RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) — The North Carolina Historical Commission has postponed any decision on a request by Governor Roy Cooper to move three Confederate memorials that have stood on North Carolina’s old Capitol grounds for over a century to a Civil War battle site until March, 2018.
Governor Cooper wants to relocate the monuments to Bentonville Battlefield, which is about 50 miles south of Raleigh. The memorials include a 75-foot-tall obelisk remembering all of the state’s Confederate dead. There are also two smaller statutes.
Cooper announced his plans in the weeks following a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the subsequent toppling of a local monument in Durham.
But North Carolina’s top Republican pushed back against the idea Thursday. Senate leader Phil Berger released a letter he sent to Cooper in which he says: “I do not think an impulsive decision to pull down every Confederate monument in North Carolina is wise, that attempting to rewrite history is a fool’s errand.”
Berger went on to call Cooper’s move, “more political theater than a principled stand.”
State and local governments across the South are debating and reconsidering the placement of Confederate symbols following last month’s violence and the 2015 shootings of black parishioners at a South Carolina church.