ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Progressive Anti-Racist Action (pARA) supporters started a petition nearly two weeks ago to raise awareness of Roanoke County’s only Civil War battlefield, Hanging Rock.
The group is trying to raise a United States of America flag alongside the Confederate States of America flag, which they say is a start to making this battlefield more inclusive for everyone.
“We wanted to study it to understand what kind of changes we could make here to make it more inclusive to all people, and not only just the people of the Roanoke Valley but all the people that get off the interstate to come see our Valley.”David Tate – Progressive Anti-Racist Action
Another issue with the historical inaccuracies, they say, is the man the statue is honoring: George Morgan Jones.
“That man standing up there on that pedestal is a Confederate cook, dressed up by his wife in a General Officers uniform and propagated some sort of massive hero to the Confederacy.”David Tate – Progressive Anti-Racist Action
Back in 2017, a George Morgan Jones statue — identical to the one in Hanging Rock Battlefield — was removed from Randolph College’s property in Lynchburg after the domestic terrorist attack in Charlottesville that same year.
“Randolph Macon College in Lynchburg, there’s a sister statue … a brother statue if you will, that use to stand at that College and a few years back following Charlottesville, they voted to remove it. Because the background of the statue is as I just explained to you, which is one of a farce.”David Tate – Progressive Anti-Racist Action
After pARA reached out to local officials, they got a preliminary quote of $15,000 dollars to erect an American flag next to the Confederate flag. Tate and Kevin Craig — the son of a statue donor — hope someone will hear their story and come to the aid of making Hanging Rock Battlefield historically accurate and all-inclusive.
“Part of our hope is that somebody will see this, somebody that has the means or the power or something that can get it done for us, and let’s stop this skirmish right here.”David Tate – Progressive Anti-Racist Action
For more information on pARA in the Roanoke area, you can find their Facebook group by clicking here.
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