HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - A metro Atlanta Civil War museum is now empty after a dispute over Confederate flags.
Some believe that a 200-acre stretch of land is vitally important to Henry County’s past.
“I just think it's wrong that any group of people can come in and take anything down that has to do with history,” said resident Carolyn Medley.
The controversy started at the flagpole on the grounds of the Nash Farm Battlefield.
“A commissioner a few months ago asked that the Confederate flag flying on this property be removed,” said Henry County spokesperson Melissa Robinson.
County Commissioner Dee Clemmons got her way but this week, the Civil War museum on the property was cleaned out.
“Henry County in no way asked them to remove their things. We did not request that. It was a voluntary move to leave the museum,” Robinson said.
The battlefield sits on county property and is operated as a county park.
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The museum was filled with items that belonged to private citizens. The group that runs the museum claimed they were asked to remove all Confederate flags from the displays. Because they said they can't tell the Civil War story without them, they decided to close the museum.
Bill Dodd, the curator of the museum, said the flags flies in the face of history.
"The Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. What do they have on display? They have swastikas on display in the Holocaust Museum,” Dodd said.
“For some people, it's a polarizing issue. For some, the flag means one thing, for others, it means something else,” Robinson said.
Robinson said the commissioner was responding to citizens offended by the flags. Dodd said he has grown tired of fighting the battle.
“I was frustrated when I was told to remove Confederate flags from the museum,” he said. “But after, I realized if I take out the flags, I can take me out too and get my weekends back."
“You have a museum in this time period to honor both Union and Confederate veterans. No matter which side they fought on, they were all Americans,” said resident Chuck Johnson.
Channel 2 Action News reached out to Clemmons but has not heard back yet.
The museum was set to officially close on June 1 but it will likely be empty before then.
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