Confederate monuments now part of local museum

The Union County Board of County Commissioners have designated the Historic Courthouse and grounds as a museum of Union County.

The Historic Courthouse is home to a wide-range of monuments, including two that honor locals who fought for the Confederacy.

Confederate monuments and flags have been at the center of controversy following the Charleston Massacre -- where nine African Americans were shot and killed, allegedly, by Dylan Roof. Roof has been seen in a number of photos supporting Confederate symbols.

Since the shootings, many have asked local governments to get rid of Confederate monuments and/or flags. Some have been asked for flags/monuments to be put on display in museums. Turning the old courthouse into a museum would help keep these monuments in place.

"We felt like it was real important to protect our heritage," Chairman Richard Helms said. "...My personal opinion is, I think groups have an agenda...they need to understand the history of where they are raised and this is an outstanding tool to be able to provide that for our future children."

The resolution was passed 3-2.

"We have spent a lot of tax dollars to maintain that building over the years," Commissioner Frank Aikmus, who voted against the museum, said. "I just didn't know if that was the best use of taxpayer dollars." 

Aikmus was hoping the old courthouse could be turned into a revenue-generating building.