GLOUCESTER, Va. (WVEC) -- A Confederate monument in Gloucester is at the center of controversy.
Small Confederate flags that surrounded the monument disappeared. It turns out county leaders took them down, leaving members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans mad and confused.
The group posted a photo of a Gloucester county employee who appears to be removing Confederate flags they had placed at the monument.
Gloucester County supervisor Brent Fedors says according to their facilities use policy, no one is allowed to place anything on county property without permission, which means the flags violated the policy.
“All we want to do is respect our heritage and pay homage to our soldiers,” SCV Commander Joey Taylor said. “At the time, we didn’t know about the policy."
Fedors also released a statement saying:
It was disheartening to read the threatening and disparaging remarks posted about one of our employees in social media outlets over the past week. The County does not condone this behavior and will take appropriate action with respect to threats of physical harm. Ultimately, as the County Administrator I take responsibility for the actions of our County employees, and in this case, our employee was acting as instructed – if citizens wish to express dissatisfaction with the actions of one of our employees, they are welcome to take the matter up with the employee’s supervisor, director, or with me directly.”
“There's absolutely no issue with content, it's not part of our evaluation." Fedors told us. “Any flag, whether it’s an American, Confederate or a Care Bears flag, would go through the same process as to whether it's appropriate and if the county is willing to grant permission to place it there.”
Taylor and his organization are now offering to help maintain the monument and the area around it.
“We want to understand what they intend to do specifically,” Fedors said. “We welcome their offer to volunteer and help maintain the monument and keep the area clean."
While the decision isn't certain at this time, Taylor wants to make sure this isn't a problem for them, or anyone else in the future.
“We want to put wreaths out here on different holidays and flags on different occasions,” Taylor said.
The County administrator also released a statement saying:
Individuals are not permitted to place objects, including flags, on County property without permission. The County has a facilities use policy, which should be consulted and followed with reference to the utilization of County property. The flags were removed because they violated the policy, and because they were placed there without the County's permission, not based on what they represent or depict.”