Push to move Confederate statue from Loudoun courthouse

WASHINGTON — A lot has changed in Loudoun County in the 109 years since a statue of a Confederate soldier was erected in front of the courthouse.

“The minority population is well over 40 percent, our schools are 50-50 minority to white, and it’s a different county than it was in 1908, when that statue was put in place,” says Phillip Thompson, president of the Loudoun County chapter of the NAACP.

The group is arguing the statue should be moved to another location in the county, saying its presence at the courthouse is troubling.

“Having a Confederate statue sitting down there at your courthouse, where you’re supposed to be dispensing equal justice, just doesn’t sit right with a lot of people,” Thompson said.

Thompson is asking for a clarification opinion from Loudoun County Attorney Leo Rogers on whether it would be legal to remove the statue from courthouse grounds.

A plan to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville has been delayed by a lawsuit filed by a group of citizens who want to block the move. The judge has blocked the statue’s removal during the court process.

In March, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed a bill that would have prevented localities from removing Confederate and other war-related memorial.

Thompson would favor the statue being moved approximately 3 miles to the site of the Ball’s Bluff National Battlefield and Cemetery, “and placed in front of the Confederate soldiers that are interred there, and that way they can be honored by their statue.”

The board of supervisors would have to approve a removal request, because the courthouse grounds are on county property.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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