Nearly 1,500 people are expected to attend a rally in support of Confederate symbols in Hillsborough, North Carolina, on Saturday, the Herald Sun of Durham, North Carolina, reported. The town board’s recent decision to start taking steps toward potentially removing Confederate signage from the Orange County Historical Museum has ignited opposition from Confederate heritage supporters in the area.
The Southern Heritage Ride and Rally was organized by Orange County Taking Back Orange County and Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County, both private organizations. The event will begin with a ride at 11 a.m. EDT from Burlington to Hillsborough and end with a rally supporting Confederate heritage from 2 to 4 p.m. on the lawn of Hillsborough’s Town Hall. Organizers of the rally are attempting to raise money to bring to the event H.K. Edgerton, an African-American member of Sons of Confederate Veterans who has shown his support for the Confederate flag at other rallies.
The Orange County Historical Museum building currently features signage that reads, “Confederate Memorial 1934,” because the Daughters of the Confederacy partially funded the building. The Town Board voted last month to submit an application to the Historic District Commission for the removal of the signage.
Members of the NAACP will present a counter-viewpoint regarding Confederate history on Thursday at the Old Orange County Courthouse. The organization will hold a conference beginning at 11 a.m. EDT to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The event will feature the Rev. William J. Barber II, the North Carolina NAACP president. The purpose of the conference is to "promote accurate history of [North Carolina’s] ugly racist policies and symbols of hatred," a news release said.
Many Southern states have been making efforts to remove Confederate symbols from public property in the wake of the racially motivated massacre in a Charleston, South Carolina, church on June 17 that left nine black church members dead. However, North Carolina recently passed legislation to protect Confederate monuments on public property. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, signed the bill into law July 23.
“A lot of North Carolinians don’t understand Southern history,” said Lucy Lewis, who will be participating in the NACCP conference Thursday, the News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina, reported. “A lot of the flags and monuments were resurrected when white supremacy was on the rise again.”