Kelly Golden

Kelly Golden

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SC Heritage Act Violated?

Robert E. Lee

Photo: Getty Images

SC Heritage Act Violated? Removal of Robert E. Lee Memorial Highway marker called into question by AHA Group says City violated Heritage Act by removing while City’s legal department says removal was allowed

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The American Heritage Association says the city of Charleston of violating the state’s Heritage Act when they removed a marker from a school.

The group claims the violation happened when the mayor’s office admitted to removing the Robert E. Lee Memorial from the Charleston School of Math and Science in a Dec. 29 letter.

“The Mayor’s decision to remove this cherished historical monument appears to be his unilateral action since the AHA has been unable to discover ant record of City Council’s approval,” the group said in a statement.

The city says a request to remove the marker came at the request from the Charleston School of Math and Science on July 21, 2020.

City officials say the city’s legal department was consulted prior to making the decision as they were “mindful of the state’s Heritage Act.”

Leaders with the city say the legal department concluded the removal of the marker would be allowed under the Heritage Act.

Charleston city officials say then-Charleston Schools Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait sent a letter on Feb. 16, 2021, that when combined with the legal department’s decision, was enough to honor the request by removing the marker and placing it in safe storage on July 20, 2021.

Officials say the marker was originally erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and placed on the site by Mayor William Morrison in 1948. The marker was placed in storage on July 20, 2021, and the city’s legal team is in discussions with the local chapter of the UDC to find a home for the marker.

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