Hearing set on Surry monument

Published 3:15 am Wednesday, July 8, 2020

A public hearing is set for 7 p.m. Aug. 13 to receive comment on the future of Surry County’s Confederate monument. The hearing will be conducted virtually to facilitate social distancing in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Effective July 1, the General Assembly granted local governments the authority to remove, relocate or add context to Confederate war memorials and monuments. Calls to remove Confederate monuments have escalated following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. In some instances, the public has damaged or torn down monuments before the local authorities could take action.

Placed in 1909 and dedicated the following year, the granite and bronze monument is at the county’s courthouse at 28 Colonial Trail East, in the town of Surry. The monument is about 20 feet tall, includes a Confederate battle flag in granite, and a statue of a Confederate soldier stands atop. 

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In recent weeks, competing online petitions were started at Change.org to keep or remove the monument. As of midday Monday, the petition to keep the monument has 258 signatures, while the petition to remove it had about 1,250.

To participate in the hearing, the public may call 1-877-568-4106 and use access code 447-043-91. Additional information on how to provide comments before or during the meeting is available on the county’s website, surrycountyva.gov.