WEATHERFORD, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – On the east side of Parker County’s historic courthouse is the American flag, and a few feet away, a stone monument to veterans who fought under a different flag.READ MORE: 'Light At End Of The Tunnel,' National Guard Delivers Water To Garland Residents In Need
Debate is building again over that memorial built to honor Confederate veterans from the county.
An online petition to remove it, calling it a relic from a period of white supremacy, had attracted more than 2,900 names by Thursday evening.
However, the statue has survived previous attempts to topple it, and a competing petition to keep it where it is, had more than 5,200 people sign on.
The statue is one of many drawing new scrutiny in North Texas. Memorials in next door Tarrant and Denton counties are now coming down, and Courtney Craig, who started the petition to remove the statue in the center of Weatherford, said it’s time for that one to go too.
“We have always seen that statue for what it was,” she said Thursday. “A symbol of hate, of that lost cause propaganda.”READ MORE: North Texas Smoke Shop Employee Adam Omar Charged With Murder In Shooting Death Of Man He Suspected Of Stealing
The statue’s base says it was built by the Daughters of Confederacy, and has a date stamped of 1915. Growing up in Weatherford, Craig, who now lives in Atlanta, said her family always saw it as standing for something different than remembering history.
“I mean that just speaks volumes, right? You’re having this symbol of oppression and so many things that are negative on a county courthouse lawn in the middle of the city,” she said.
In her online post she recommends putting it in a museum to preserve history, or selling it to fund diversity and inclusion programs.
Kim Milner, who started the petition to keep the statue, said a museum would be better than nothing for the monument, but she did not want to see history torn down.
Milner, who grew up in Weatherford but also no longer lives there, said she was not an activist but saw a need to take action after seeing statues across the country vandalized and torn down.
Neither of them had spoken directly to county officials yet about the fate of the monument.MORE NEWS: Yes, Face Masks Are Still Required In Collin County Even With Disaster Declaration Rescinded
A call and email to Parker County Judge Pat Deen was not immediately returned.