Story at a glance

  • The Kentucky Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Daviess Fiscal Court over ownership of a 121-year old bronze statue of a Confederate soldier.
  • The Daviess Fiscal Court in August voted to remove and relocate the monument in August amid a nationwide push to remove Confederate symbols from public spaces.
  • The Kentucky UDC says it is the rightful owner of the statue.

A group claiming it owns a Confederate statue located on a courthouse lawn in Owensboro, Ky., has filed a lawsuit against Daviess County to stop the memorial from being relocated. 

The Kentucky Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Daviess Fiscal Court over ownership of a 121-year old bronze statue of a Confederate soldier that stands outside the courthouse. 


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The Daviess Fiscal Court in August voted to remove and relocate the monument in August as a nationwide push to remove Confederate symbols from public spaces gained traction last year following the murder of George Floyd. 

A county committee in November recommended the statue go to a museum owned by the city, although city officials opposed placing the statue on city property, according to the Messenger-Inquirer

But the lawsuit filed this week says the Daviess County Confederate Association in 1893 received a license from the county to erect the memorial, and the association and the John C. Breckendridge Chapter 306 Daughters of the Confederacy raised $3,500 to pay for the statue. 

The complaint says the Kentucky UDC took over the assets of Chapter 306 in 1970 when the chapter dissolved, meaning the group owns the memorial. The organization says it has also consistently listed the statue on the “Artifact and Monument Inventory” it files with the state. 

The Kentucky UDC is seeking an injunction to permanently prevent the removal of the statue and an order requiring the return of the statue to the UDC. 

“Any actions by the Daviess County Fiscal Court that seeks to limit and or restrict the ability of the Kentucky Division UDC to move or relocate the Owensboro Confederate Memorial within the Owensboro city limits may violate the First and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution,” the complaint says

County Attorney Claud Porter told the Messenger-Inquirer the county disputes that the UDC owns the statue. 

“We have several documents showing they don’t own it,” Porter told the outlet. 


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Published on Apr 22, 2021