Joseph D. Bryant, AL, July 1, 2015
A 110-year-old monument to Confederate veterans at Birmingham’s Linn Park would be removed and given to a Confederate heritage group under a proposal approved this morning.
The Birmingham Park and Recreation Board unanimously approved a resolution to ask city attorneys to research the issue and report back to them.
Today’s action comes after monument was bought into the spotlight by activist Frank Matthews.
Matthews has demanded that city leaders remove the obelisk at the park’s entrance, saying the memorial glorifies the Confederacy and slavery.
Today’s resolution was proposed by board member Bernard Kincaid, a former Birmingham mayor.
“The tenor of times has changed in America and in Birmingham,” Kincaid said.
Kincaid suggested contacting Birmingham area Daughters of the Confederacy chapters to seek their interest in taking possession of the monument and moving it to another place.
Matthews also said today’s action does not represent an effort to purge the city of all connections to the Civil War or the Confederacy. For example, Linn Park itself is named for Charles Linn, an early Birmingham civic leader, who also served in the Confederate Navy.
Still, Matthews said Linn’s contributions to the city’s development are not overshadowed by the Civil War service and would not rally to change the name of the park.
“But that monument with knives and swords on it, it’s very offensive,” he said.