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WilCo leaders hear new request for plaque for Confederate statue

The silhouette of a Confederate soldier statue as seen from the south steps of the Williamson County Courthouse. (Photo: CBS Austin News)

The debate over Confederate symbols flares up again in Williamson County. At issue is whether the Confederate statue on the courthouse square should include more context and different views.

For just over a hundred years the statue has stood at the south steps of the Williamson County Courthouse. And Tuesday a retired US Army Colonel stood in defense of the monument dedicated to the memory of Confederate soldiers and sailors.

Colonel Shelby K. Little with the Sons of Confederate Veterans says the statue’s meaning, "…is chiseled there in stone for all to see. Those words and the sentiment behind them need no explanation." Shelby says he is worried outside efforts to explain their statue with some kind of historical plaque could go horribly wrong. He explains, “White supremacy, racial injustice and Jim Crow bigotry are all harsh, hateful words. Yet this application makes liberal use of them in describing what they believe this memorial really symbolizes."

Rev. Lou Sneed, a retired religious leader from Sun City also spoke before the commissioners court. He said, “The divisiveness that we hear today around this confederate monument really rests upon two competing interpretations of history between those who are willing to acknowledge the sins of racism so we can move on from that, and those who say it only represents heritage and our ancestral history."

Last year a similar request before the commissioners died for lack of a second. This year it got that second and was discussed before being voted down. To supporters of the plaque... That's progress.

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