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Rally To Keep Jefferson Davis Statue Draws Crowd To Capitol

A rally was held today on the Capitol steps in Frankfort for those who want to keep the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in the rotunda.

Chants of Leave Davis alone! ended the two hour rally that was meant to let lawmakers know that this group wants the Jefferson Davis statue which stands along the likenesses of other famous Kentuckians like Abraham Lincoln and Henry Clay to stay in the Capitol Rotunda.  Tom Hiter who is with the Kentucky Chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans wants the statue to stay put. 

If they honestly and carefully consider the numbers I think they’ll be overwhelmingly in favor of leaving the statue alone,” he said.

But Berea Ernst who stood in the crowd holding a #blacklivesmatter sign wants the statue removed, adding,  “I don’t know why it would be a primary symbol for the Commonwealth of Kentucky in our rotunda.  It’s ridiculous.”

The rally wasn’t just about the Davis Monument.  It also focused heavily on the Confederate flag, which was being flown or worn by nearly everyone there.  While the crowd recited their salute to the flag, Ernst showed the other side of her sign which read "Love the people of the south, not the Confederacy." 

“I think it’s important for our national unity to redefine the way we think about the south today as loving all the people there and treating them equally and I think embracing the Confederate flag is to willfully ignore that it was created for a government that wanted to maintain slavery, it’s as simple as that,” she said. 

Greg Sutton stood next to her holding a Confederate flag. 

“This flag and that flag had nothing to do with those nine innocent lives," he argued.  "That didn’t have nothing to do with it.  It wasn’t found at the scene of the crime.  This all come about for the left wing to pass that gay marriage law.  That’s what it’s for.  And they used nine innocent for that.” 

The Historic Properties Commission will make a final decision about the Jefferson Davis statue on August 5.  Residents are invited to submit their thoughts to the commission in writing.  The deadline is July 29.   

Karyn Czar joined the WUKY News team July 1, 2013, but she's no stranger to radio.
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