Tennessee Leaders Weigh In On Removal of Confederate Symbols

Posted at 6:30 PM, Jun 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 01:31:34-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As more time passes from the racially-motivated Charleston Church Shooting, more people are calling for the confederate flag that flies over South Carolina to come down, including U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)

“It's very clear to me that there is no reason for it to exist anymore, and if I was in South Carolina, and voting on the issue, I'd vote to take the flag down,” Corker said.

But Dan Pomeroy, who works at the Tennessee State Museum says history should play a role too.
“You do wish there was more informed debate when some of these pronouncements are made,” Pomeroy said.

Several state leaders are now calling for the removal of a bust of Confederate General and one time Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest that stands in the Tennessee state capitol.

“Nathan Bedford Forrest was a complicated individual,” Pomeroy said. “There were admirable things about him, and certainly things that were not admirable.”

Pomeroy says while Forrest did make a fortune in slave trading, he was simply a man of his time.
“Which is not to excuse what he may have done or didn't do,” Pomeroy said. “But we have to put people in the context of their time.”

Even so, Pomeroy says as the debate following the Charleston church shooting continues, he fully expects the debate over confederate symbols to go on even longer.