Politics

Ga. Lawmaker Continues Push For Confederate Memorial Bill

Rep. Tommy Benton, sponsor of House Bill 50 that would prohibit the removal of monuments despite any future objections to them, talks about the Confederate Flag and various aspects of his bill.
Rep. Tommy Benton, sponsor of House Bill 50 that would prohibit the removal of monuments despite any future objections to them, talks about the Confederate Flag and various aspects of his bill.
Credit Charles W. Jones / WABE

For the past three years, State Rep. Tommy Benton, R-Jackson County, has filed bills to require that no Confederate memorials be moved or replaced in Georgia unless they are given new places with similar prominence to their previous location.

Benton wrote his first bill after the statue of former U.S. Senator Tom Watson, an avowed white supremacist, was moved out of the Georgia state capitol plaza.  

Benton’s current bill, HB 50, is in a House committee, where it could be sent to the full House next year.  

Earlier this week, “A Closer Look ” host Denis O’Hayer spoke with Benton at his office in the capitol.

“We’re not telling them they can’t move them,” but they need to be relocated to a “likewise prominent position,” Benton said.

“We’re saying they’ve got to leave them out where people can see them. It is still a part of our history.”