FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
City of Augusta responds to Riverwalk Legal Action, requests
The city of
Augusta, the city commission and the former mayor have responded
as required by law to the suit filed against them by the Georgia
Heritage Council and others on behalf of the people of Georgia.
In their pleading, the city denies responsibility under Georgia
law for removing flags and memorial markers from a public city
sponsored park, the Riverwalk, on the basis that the part of the
park from which the flags and memorial markers were removed was
not a military memorial, but a 'flag terrace.'
They also requested a jury trial.
Noting the city response, Woody Highsmith, GHC director in
Augusta, said, "It is mystifying that the city now wants a public
jury to undertake the work the city should have considered a long
time ago. I specifically refer to the fact that former Mayor Young
removed the flags and markers unilaterally without consulting the
commission or the public."
Former Mayor Young nor any of the commission members have
denied the unannounced removal of the 2nd National Confederate
flag, known as the Stainless Banner, and obscuring the markers.
Likewise, they have not denied consensus press reports that the
removals were done at the request of the South Carolina NAACP
which held a convention in Augusta shortly after the removals.
In their joint pleading before the court, the former mayor and
all commissioners claim the flags and memorials removed had no
military significance and were not located in a section dedicated
to military heroes, but rather in a flag terrace. The flag terrace
still remains absent the 2nd National Confederate flags and
"We tried every way we knew to communicate and work out a
solution to have the flags and memorials returned to avoid a
lawsuit. I personally wrote the mayor and each of the
commissioners requesting suggestions for a suitable resolution of
the situation. Not one responded," said Jeff Davis, GHC Chairman.
"This is a situation that could have been more successfully
handled as we have done in similar cases elsewhere. It seems to me
that the cooperation extended to the South Carolina NAACP has been
denied the citizens of Georgia. Now the taxpayers of Augusta and
Richmond County are socked with not only the expense of a
potentially long and protracted lawsuit, but also the label as an
'anti-Southern' and 'anti-heritage' city. I don't think this is
fair to the people of Augusta and Richmond County. That area has
great history and heritage. It's a shame that pandering
politicians want to destroy it," Davis said.
Former Mayor Young is now serving as the Regional Director of
Housing and Urban Development in Atlanta. He was appointed to the
position by President Bush after being endorsed by Governor Sonny
Realizing the importance of this court test of the Georgia
statues regarding desecration of any military memorials, Mr.
Highsmith said, "We're in a fight for everything we hold dear in
this case. We need the help of everyone who believes in the common
sense of stopping pressure groups and public politicians from
taking away every last vestige of our history and our culture.
This case is a culture war, pure and simple. Please help us by
sending whatever you can. Even one dollar."
For further information, contact:
Jeff Davis, Chairman, GHC, Gainesville, Ga. Telephone 770
Woody Highsmith, Director, GHC, Augusta, Ga. Telephone 706
How to help:
Please mail your contributions
"Steve Boynton Flag Defense Fund"
C/O Woody Highsmith
P.O. BOX 581
Evans, Georgia 30809
CLICK HERE to donate through PayPal at GHC. Please notate in
the PAYPAL "Message" field that the funds are for the "RIVERWALK"
and those donations will be forwarded promptly to Woody
Highsmith in Augusta.
Please do it now.
Your help and support got us this far, we need more folks to join
in now that the battle is engaged.
J. A. Davis is a retired radio and television
journalist living in Gainesville, Georgia. He is volunteer
Chairman of the Georgia Heritage Council.
The Georgia Heritage Council has filed a lawsuit against the City of Augusta for the removal of Confederate Flags at a Memorial.
This is a violation of Georgia State Law. Your help is
For more info:
Help spread the word,
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DixieRising CSA for Georgia Heritage Council (more eCards)
Group sues Augusta over Confederate
- A Southern heritage group wants the Confederate
flag restored to its former place on Riverwalk Augusta and has
sued the Augusta Commission and the city's former mayor in the
Georgia Heritage Council Inc. filed the civil lawsuit
against the commission and former Mayor Bob Young on July 7.
The Gainesville, Ga.-based group argues in its court filing
that the Confederate flag constituted a memorial to the
state's Civil War veterans.
The suit alleges that the city violated a section of state
law that prohibits the alteration or defacement of monuments
that honor or memorialize veterans, regardless of whether they
fought for the United States or the Confederacy.
In September 2004, Young ordered the banner to be removed
from the riverwalk prior to a convention of the South Carolina
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People,
which was going to be held the next month.
That was because the local NAACP branch asked for the flag
to be removed. In the banner's place, officials raised a green
and gold Augusta city flag. They covered the inscription
describing the flag at the base of the flagpole with a plaque.
The flag's removal led to protests by Southern heritage
supporters during the NAACP convention.
Rebmaster's Note: Some may find this hard to believe but the
Mayor of Augusta, who removed Our Flags, was given a White House
Award for "Historical Preservation!" Read more:
Political Correctness run amok in Bush Administration?