Confederate monument supporters continue to gather petitions and letters as submittal deadline approaches

Arkansas News

EL DORADO, Ark. (7/8/20) — The confederate statue in El Dorado continues to remain a hot topic for Union County residents especially with the deadline of submitting public opinions nearing the end.

“Historically it is extremely important,” Linda Hale said.

The confederate statue sits on the lawn of the Union County Courthouse which depicts a single soldier and is supported by four columns.

The monument was erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1909 to honor those who fought for the Confederate army in the Civil War battle. For Linda Hale and Melonie Darden, the monument resembles all of those men that died and never came back.

“No one has bothered it,” Darden said. “It’s been behind this tree. No one has had a problem with it until now.”

If the court votes to remove the statue, Hale and Darden would like to see it preserved and taken to the Newton House Museum and the process of uprooting it from the ground should be on those who oppose the statue’s very existence.

“If they want it removed they need to pay for it instead of making the county and everybody else pay for it,” Darden said.

The pro-monument group has been criticized on social media for allegedly intimdating the other group with weapons. Several videos of the incident were posted live to Facebook last Thursday.

One video showed a downtown business owner confront a group petiitioning to keep the monument on the grounds of the courthouse. Some witnesses have claimed that a man was brandishing a gun and taser to opposers across the street.

Hale and Darden were both there and they said that’s not what happened.

“We absolutely were not. Our guns never came out,” Hale said. “We weren’t here to be violent or put on a show. We were here to be peaceful.”

Hale and Darden said they know the ultimate decision concerning the statue isn’t up to them but they’re going to do what they can until Friday’s deadline to submit public comments.

“If its his will for it to go then it will go but we do want to ask everyone to please get out and find someone with a petition,” Hale said.

If you would like to sign the petition to keep the monument at the courthouse or remove it to a place where it continues to be preserved, you can contact Hale at 870-415-1259.

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