Posted on August 7, 2020

Jackson County, North Carolina, Leaders Vote to Keep Confederate Statue in Sylva — With Changes

Rex Hodge, ABC13 News, August 5, 2020

Jackson County commissioners voted Tuesday to keep a Confederate statue in front of the historic courthouse in Sylva, but they also agreed to some changes. That decision is getting plenty of reaction.


In an era of racial tension, the Confederate statue known as “Sylva Sam” overlooking the town is sparking debate. Sylva leaders sent Jackson County commissioners a resolution asking for its removal from the old county courthouse, out of town limits.

“I made a motion that we deny Sylva’s request,” Commission Chairman Brian McMahan said.

McMahan was part of a 4-1 vote Tuesday night to keep the statue where it is. But he said the board also agreed to an amendment.

“We are going to add a plaque to the front of the statue base covering up the Confederate flag with a list of Jackson County’s involvement in the Civil War,” he said. “Our ‘Heroes of the Confederacy’ will be removed from the base.”

McMahan said it’s a compromise.


The president of the local NAACP said he would have preferred the statue’s removal. But, he said, he sees the compromise, too, reworking the statue’s context. He said questions will remain.