Confederate monument in Decatur can be moved but not hidden

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Confederate monument in Decatur can be moved but not hidden

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Bob Andres/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Behind the former courthouse in Decatur Square sits this Confederate monument. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

A 30-foot Confederate monument in downtown Decatur could be relocated to another visible site or placed in historical context, but it can’t be destroyed or concealed, according to a DeKalb County legal opinion released Tuesday.

The DeKalb Board of Commissioners will now consider what to do about the monument after passing a resolution in October condemning the monument for glorifying the Confederacy.

One lawmaker has an idea that her opponents promised to fight.

The legal opinion by County Attorney O.V. Brantley concludes that the county government owns the monument and is prohibited by state law from removing it from public view. But the opinion says the monument could be moved to a cemetery, museum or other property.

The monument, an obelisk erected in 1908 outside the old county courthouse, contains an inscription praising soldiers of the Confederacy in part because they “were of a covenant keeping race.”

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