Man Dressed As Soldier Stands Guard At Former Statue Site

Mayor Supports New Statue Representing All Service Members

August 12, 2011

REIDSVILLE, N.C. — A man dressed as a Confederate soldier stood guard Friday next to the site where a Confederate monument formerly stood in downtown Reidsville until it was broken in a traffic crash in May.

Jamie Funkhouser calls himself a Southern heritage activist and said he represents those who want the Confederate monument returned.

City officials announced earlier this week that they’d reached an agreement with the statue’s owner, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, not to replace the 101-year-old granite statute, which depicts a Confederate soldier.

The statue was destroyed when a driver said he fell asleep and his truck plowed into the base of the statue.

The soldier toppled from its post, shattered into several pieces, and its head was embedded in the vehicle.

The driver wasn’t cited in the crash and was traveling at the posted 35 mph speed limit at impact, police said at the time.

Funkhouser said the historic landmark has every right to exist and moving it to another location is a form of censorship. He added that his protest has nothing to do with race.

"I think it’s a shame this turned into a racial thing, because in this war everybody fought," Funkhouser said. "You see all around the nation people trying to get rid of our Southern culture and Southern heritage."

Funkhouser said 90 percent of those passing by disagree with city leaders and their decision to not replace the monument.

Reidsville Mayor James Festerman said he supports replacing the Confederate monument with a monument that honors all United States military members.

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