GEORGETOWN, Texas - The national debate over Confederate monuments has already prompted the removal of some monuments in Central and South Texas.
But Williamson County Commissioners have voted down one proposed change to a Confederate statue in Georgetown.
What the 100-year-old statue of a Confederate Soldier on Georgetown Square represents depends on the person asked.
“It’s a veterans memorial. There is nothing on there about white supremacy, racism, Jim Crow,” said Shelby Little of Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Rev. Loud Snead of Courageous Conversations disagrees added that he believes the county needs to do more to address the history of racism across the city and state.
"Does that offer some kind of justification to say they supported a seditious act of seceding from the union?,” Snead asked.
On Tuesday, Williamson County Commissioners listened to a proposal from Courage Conversations and Undoing Racism Round Rock to add a historical marker near the memorial. They wanted to submit an application to the Texas Historical Commission to do so.
The agency gives the final seal of approval. Supporters and opponents voiced their opinions.
"That is telling the truth of the whole story," said one county resident.
“We do not need divisive words of hate on our square," said another.
The group wanted the plaque to include a few facts including the reasons why Texas joined the confederacy, that in the late 1860's slaves were granted freedom and that the statue was erected in 1961 during the Jim Crow era.
“It’s hard to move forward in a society when you’re seeking equality and you don’t have the full truth,” said Rev. Chuck Freeman of Undoing Racism Round Rock.
The court ultimately rejected the plan in a 4-1 vote, citing concerns from constituents and the short deadline. The final day to submit applications for historical markers to the Texas Historical Commission is Nov. 15. Other members did not think a plaque would sufficiently provide all the necessary context. Williamson County Commissioner Terry Cook of Precinct 1 was the lone proponent.
“I am fine with the statue staying there, but in and of itself, by itself, it really looks around and says 'Remember these laws were written by whites for whites come on in the courthouse,'" Cook said.
But commissioners seemed open to hearing other ideas. Some residents would like to see a statue added on courthouse grounds that reflects the emancipation of slaves or the Civil Rights movement.
“We want to find a way to tell the truth about all of this," Snead said. "We're not necessarily set on one strategy.”
Last year, Williamson County officials unveiled a statue of attorney and former Governor Dan Moody at the courthouse, where he successfully prosecuted members of the Ku Klux Klan. Some criticize that statue because Moodly charged and convicted KKK members who assaulted a white man.