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Civil War Museum Closes After Commissioner Forces Removal of Confederate Flags

Operators of the Nash Farm Battlefield Museum in Hampton, Georgia, have decided to close after a Henry County commissioner demanded removal of Confederate artifacts.

The museum has been run by a nonprofit organization to commemorate the site of an August 1864 battle in the American Civil War. It’s been housed in a historic building in what has been a Henry County park.

Commissioner Dee Clemmons, an African-American woman, began her demands on the museum with a request to remove a Confederate flag displayed on a flagpole.

The nonprofit felt that Clemmons was speaking with the authority of the county government according to spokesman Tim Knight. But county spokeswoman Melissa Robinson insists the request was personal, not official.

Inside the museum, there are portraits of generals who fought for the north and the south at the 1864 battle.  Outside, there are three flagpoles.  One is empty. Until a few weeks ago, the empty pole displayed a confederate flag with a white field and a St. Andrew’s Cross battle flag in the upper left corner.”

The Nash Farm park has been the site of several battle reenactments, which brought hundreds of Civil War re-enactors to the area for the festivities.

Knight says Commissioner Clemmons returned a few weeks later and insisted on the removal of other Confederate artifacts inside the museum as well.  Once again, Knight said it appeared the commissioner was speaking on behalf of county government.”

Stuart Carter, a local resident and museum supporter, maintains that Nash Farms has always represented both sides of the conflict.

Carter points out that many critics of public displays of the Confederate flag make exceptions for museum displays.”

County spokesman Robinson continues to defend the actions of Commissioner Clemmons.

Asked if it was reasonable to remove selected historic artifacts from a museum depicting history, Robinson said:  “I think it’s reasonable. I think there were plenty of artifacts in the museum that can tell the story of the Civil War. And I think it was a reasonable request.”