Commissioner: I never asked for all Confederate flags to be removed

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — A Henry County commissioner says she asked for Confederate flags to be removed from public eye outside a Civil War museum and park, but never asked the museum to shut down.

Nash Farm Battlefield, a park and museum in Henry County, was cleaned out over the weekend after the dispute over the flags.

The group that runs the museum claims they were asked to remove all Confederate Flags from the displays. But since they said they can’t tell the Civil War story without them, they decided to close the museum.

It’s an issue that’s caused controversy across Henry County, with many upset by the decision.

However, Dee Clemmons, the commissioner at the center of the controversy, said things aren’t quite as they seem.

“I never asked them to move. And I never asked them to take all of the memorabilia and the replicas that were inside of the museum out,” she told Channel 2’s Tom Jones.

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Clemmons said the privately owned flag outside is offensive to many of her constituents.

“And so I did request for the flag to be taken off of the pole and placed inside the museum,” she said.

She says confederate flags were in the window, visible to those outside.

“I asked that they not be visible from the outside,” she said.

Curator Bill Dodd says he was told to remove all the rebel flags from the museum, which sits on county property in a county park.

“One of the things that I'm personally tired of is being politically correct,” Dodd said.

Clemmons wants to make it clear that she is not trying to erase the flag from history.

“If the flag belongs anywhere it belongs in a museum,” she said.

The Henry County Board of Commissioners sent the following statement about the controversy:

"Many are aware of an issue which has caused the Friends of Nash Farm to announce that their museum will close on June 1st.  This has caused much divisiveness and controversy in our county.

As we continue to hear from concerned citizens, please know that we will continue to explore the facts more fully before giving our input on how to proceed to address this issue. We welcome input from concerned citizens, and request that you please express your thoughts in a respectful manner.

As we approach Memorial Day, we encourage you to remember, honor and acknowledge those who nobly gave themselves, even unto death, for a purpose they believed was greater than themselves, while serving in our country's military forces, and we also encourage you to participate in the various Memorial Day remembrances taking place throughout the county this weekend.

Please pray for unity and peace for Henry County, our State of Georgia and our United States of America."