BRANDON. Miss. (WJTV) – The question of whether a Confederate statue located in the heart of Brandon should remain standing sparked protests in the city this evening and things got heated.
Both sides made themselves heard but tempers at one point boiled over.
It has stood in the town square for more than a century, but on Friday night two sides of the community collided in the debate of taking it down or let it stand.
Once the main speakers stepped down from the podium a fight broke out as those in favor of the statue walked through the crowd of people who want it taken down. Both Brandon Police and Rankin County Deputies broke it up and no one was hurt.
“She was sitting down and this white woman walked over here and stuck a confederate flag in her face,” Vickie Jones with Rankin County United for Change said. “She walked down here to us.”
One woman was detained, but no charges were pressed while authorities searched through video. Meanwhile, the rest of the rally was peaceful from both sides.
“Ours desire is that we unite with all people,” Jones added. “Black, white, brown, all people.”
At the center of the conflict is this Confederate statue erected in 1907 by the Daughters of Confederacy to honor C.S.A veterans.
“I came to support Confederate heritage and the Confederate soldier who fought against tyranny and the oppressive regime against Lincoln,” Creig Haden of Brandon told us.
“These symbols of hatred that are interpreted to be symbols of hatred it’s just time to move beyond that,” organizer Ava Harvy said. “We recognize the history. We don’t have to have a statue to remember history. We have history books for that.”
Official quotes from the Mississippi documents of session highlight preserving slavery as part of the cause for declaring war against the union. Those for the statue think it represents more.
“It matters to me personally because it acted as my inspiration for years and years driving by it,” Haden said. “The confederate solider on the lookout because he’s looking out for us against General Sherman.”
The group in favor of taking the statue down has already taken their arguments to the Brandon City Council and Rankin County Board of Supervisors. They’re waiting to hear back from both entities.