Capitol Square Monuments

To the anonymous person who flagged Jake’s post, note that Jake didn’t say why to remove it. Could very well be because in the 21st century we like clear views of our historic capitol buildings. I agree. Also, grow a backbone. A 301 Hillsborough setback and removal of this statue (placed in 1895 and attempted to be moved in 1934 but denied) would ensure our 1840 capitol is seen in its original, unobstructed, form.


I flagged it for being off-topic. I think yours is too but I’ll leave it up and see where the discussion goes.


Nope. It should be removed because it’s a tribute to a non-existent country whose primary reason for wanting to exist was for the ability to continue using slave labor. It’s an embarrassing stain on our otherwise progressive, modern city. All history should be remembered, but not all of it should be celebrated.

And yeah, this conversation is off topic - I was just responding to a comment about said statue in this thread. Moving on.


Following this discussion to its logical conclusion, should the great architectural artifacts of Rome and Egypt be torn down as well? After all, they were built on the backs of slave labor. I’m not attempting to compare our civil war monuments and statues to the Roman Colosseum or the Sphynx, but where do we draw the line? I’m originally from the New Jersey. When I first moved down here, I always got a chuckle from all of the civil war reenactments. But I began to realize, this is how the southerners remember and embrace their history. I don’t think the statues were as much of a big deal before they were politicized a few years ago and I think tearing them down is shortsighted. At the end of the day, it is a sculpture of metal and/or cement. To some it may be a symbol of heritage, to others a symbol of an era that should never again transpire, but for all of us, it is a symbol of our history like it or not, and we should preserve it so we can continue to learn from it.


Well said. Very well said.


Indeed. Well said.
In grad school, at Mississippi no less, we always laughed about these being 2nd place trophies! Someone actually climbed up on the monument on the Court Sq and put a big red 2nd on the soldiers arms.


Meh. History books and school are great for learning and preserving history. Monuments and statues rise above that - they honor and celebrate. It’s not erasing history to remove a statue.

From a purely aesthetic perspective though, the Capitol building would look a lot better from Hillsborough without that weird pedestal in place.


Its not always about honor and celebrating. There is a museum at Auschwitz.


There are actually trees and/or statues blocking the views from some of the other sides also… I wonder why nobody seems to have a problem with those…

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@CanesFan I’d put museums in the same category as history books and school. Great places to learn and preserve history. Huge fan of museums, and they’re great places for statues! Haven’t been to a battlefield since middle school in Tennessee, but to me that’s also a prime example of preservation of history.

@TedF The approaches from Fayetteville St. are kind of unremarkable. Plus I thought we were talking about Hillsborough :wink:. I’m cool with removing the one on the east side across from New Bern Place as well as trimming back or moving the trees. I’d rather keep the trees that line Hillsborough given the choice!


I see it from my church every Sunday, and I understand what it is/was. And, I always wonder if it could be modified to reflect the larger representation of North Carolina’s role in the conflict on both sides.

Do you have any idea how many statues are on that block? So do you want to move all of them to a museum? Honestly I don’t really think we need a great view from Hillsborough St. We didn’t have any great view from any direction until fairly recently. The view from Fayetteville St is exceptional and quite sufficient.

this thread has really gone off the rails.


I don’t think that it’s an equivalency to compare a monument honoring those who fought in a rebellion against our country to any building built by slave labor, in this country or others. A building built by slave labor stands as a testament to the slaves’ strength, sacrifice, fortitude, and contribution to our country, and that should not be forgotten. A rebellion remembrance monument, that’s front and center to our state’s central government/public building, is like a spit in the face to our country and its values, since they were fighting to separate themselves from it.
I am fine if people want to remember the heritage of this failed rebellion, but it should be done in a museum setting (indoor or outdoor), not on the most ceremonially prominent position of our capitol building’s grounds.


Moving them all would be silly. And my comment above the view was just an attempt to keep the discussion on topic.

There are plenty of things worth honoring and celebrating. I just don’t think the confederacy is one of them.

I am opposed to destroying monuments left to us by previous generations - I don’t necessarily support their ideas or what they commemorate, but they are part of the fabric our past. Destroying them is ahistorical and veers too closely to Maoist Cultural Revolution-type thinking for me. That said, I am fine with moving statues. I would very much like to see the Confederate monument moved primarily to open up the view of one of the 2 fronts of the Capitol, but also because its had its day and its time to de-emphasize it. Personally, I’d move it either to Halifax mall or to the parking lot between the Capitol and the Executive Mansion. Indeed, that block, with the History Museum expansion, could be a second home for several monuments on Union Square. This would give us room to build a monument to the African-American contribution to the state, or one honoring the lives of those who were enslaved.

The only constant in history is change. But at the same time we shouldn’t try to erase the past. Lets open up the vistas to the Capitol.


The state has a problematic history, largely because all history is problematic. The Civil War was arguably the most important event in our state’s history, and certainly the most wide-affecting for it’s citizens. Certainly it’s up for debate on how best to manage our interaction with history, but simply ignoring shouldn’t be an option. In my mind these statues, which I feel have some historical value and meaning, should be moved to the battlefields and museums. That is where the proper context can be applied.


I didn’t say that the two were equivalents of one another, but one was an ultimate conclusion of the other. I agree with you that those buildings and monuments were a testament to the slaves’s strength, fortitude, and sacrifice. But it could also have been said that they are a reminder of a vicious and oppressive empire whose foundation was built upon the blood of conquered people. The passage of time allows for a more balanced perspective. I believe that making an emotional decision such as this would be looked upon by future generations as a mistake.

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Totally off-topic, and the last time I’m touching base on it here. I always thought that there would be more of a re-edit in order. North Carolina had individuals of both races participating on both sides of the conflict.

If there could be representation of all of those combatants standing equally on the same level (But facing away from the other) using parts of the current monument and others added, while being topped by a figural statue marking resolution, then I would I feel that it could be more of a ‘state’ monument.


@Jake @Mark I was kind of avoiding this but now you’ve done it. Everyone WAS off-topic but let me put this one here.