ISLE OF WIGHT, Va. (WAVY) — Confederate flags were put on the ground just hours after a Confederate monument was removed outside the Isle of Wight courthouse over the weekend.
County officials removed the flags and community members say they’re ready to move forward from the situation.
“The flags were removed because they showed a negative point of view of the county. We closed that chapter and I’m ready to move forward,” said Board of Supervisor Rudolph Jefferson. “There’s plenty more other work to be done in Isle of Wight County.”
The Confederate monument at the Isle of Wight courthouse was moved Saturday morning by county officials.
In early April, the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors voted to officially hand over the county’s monument to county resident Volpe Boykin and his wife.
The statue stood out front the county courthouse for more than 100 years.
County taxpayers paid $32,500 to relocate it from the complex and have it placed on Volpe Boykin’s property along Route 258 in the Walters area of the county. Boykin has said he plans to make it available for anyone who wants to see it.
The cost breakdown shows it cost $25,000 to remove, relocate and reassemble the monument, $3,000 to $5,000 for the concrete foundation, and $2,500 for installation of an access driveway.
Boykin says he plans to develop an association to maintain the statue at its new location so people can continue to visit it in the future.
“This saga is over. It’s over for the betterment of the entire county,” he said. “We want to move forward with preserving the new monument. What happened out here could’ve been kids, could’ve been someone that opposed the monument and just wanted to cause trouble.”
“The next steps is even though we legally own it, we don’t feel like we own it. We feel like it belongs to all the citizens of the county. Our intention is to make sure it’s preserved in prosperity like we would do any historic artifact that was in danger,” Boykin said.
Isle of Wight NAACP President Valerie Butler said that the move should’ve been done years ago and would have preferred to have a special task force determine the fate of the statue.
“After 116 years, personally I never thought that I would see this monument relocated from courthouse property,” she said.
Butler spoke to 10 On Your Side about the Confederate flags appearing where the monument previously stood.
“It disturbs me very much but I’m not surprised,” she said in a statement. “Our only intention was to remove the monument from the courthouse. What was the purpose of putting the flags there? We hope the removal is a new beginning for the community to come together and have an open dialogue.”
Community members commended the work of the Board of Supervisors over the last few months and said the relocation of the monument is for the betterment of the county.