TEXAS: Confederate Statue Will Stay Put

Parker County Courthouse (Photo by Michael Barera)

WEATHERFORD, Texas — On Thursday afternoon, all members of the Parker County Commissioners Court voted to keep a confederate statue on courthouse property after there had been passionate and at times violent disagreement over the monument among protesters in Weatherford, the county seat.

A local newspaper reported that Commissioner George Conley moved to keep the statue on county grounds, a motion that was adopted by all commissioners.

County Judge Pat Deen reportedly praised the statue.

“It represents our history, it represents those that have died in war on both sides. It represents a time in our history that no longer exists today, thankfully. If we look at what the constituents want here, I can speak for myself, that there’s been an overwhelming number to not remove that statue,” Deen said.

The Weatherford chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) reportedly asked the commissioners court to move the monument elsewhere, although there was controversy after the statewide UDC leadership claimed the local leadership didn’t have the authority to make that decision.

Dorothy Norred, the president of the Texas UDC, reportedly expressed her desire to keep the statue on the courthouse grounds, even though Parker County Judge Pat Deen had said that the statewide UDC would transfer the statue somewhere else once they can afford it.

“Once they have the funds to move it, it is every intent of the daughters of the confederacy to move that statue. It’s illegal to use taxpayer funds to do anything with this statue,” Deen had told the Weatherford Democrat.

In his comments to the newspaper, Deen referenced the purpose of Thursday’s special meeting of the commissioners court.

“So this [meeting] will be to agree and approve that the statue can remain on the premise until the daughters of the confederacy — through donations, fundraising, whatever they do — has the funds to remove it from the property. It is earmarked to be moved and we’ve been informed in writing.”

Norred clarified her position on Thursday, saying that the Texas UDC would not move the statue unless the county required it.

“I just want to say that there seems to be a misunderstanding because they think I want to move it, which I don’t. This monument has been here over 100 years, this is its home, the citizens of Parker County and Weatherford want to keep that monument,” Norred said, according to the Weatherford Democrat.

Ultimately, the commissioners court, including Deen, asserted that the monument should remain on the property because it has historical value and public support.

In a Quinnipiac University poll this month, 47 percent of registered Texas voters said they view the Confederate flag as an emblem of Southern pride, while 44 percent said they believe it represents racism.