Before a split-vote decision, the Patriot’s Point board, representing the historic museum that houses the U.S.S. Yorktown, debated for hours on whether or not they want to place a monument honoring the 170 South Carolina residents who signed the Ordinance of Secession nearly 150 years ago on museum grounds.
Sons of Confederate Veterans spokesperson Jeff Antley is in charge of finding a place for the monument.
“This is a three month process we’ve been involved in. I did my last best effort in the proposal to convince the board members this is historically accurate, it’s part of the education department’s teaching for the 8th grade, it’s part of our state history. This is a monument to the signers, the men who signed the document, not to the document itself. It’s to the citizens of the state, paid for by the citizens of the state, constructed by citizens of the state and put on state property as a gift,” says Antley.
However, three members of the Patriot’s Point board opposed it, which kills the issue. Patriot’s Point Director Dick Trammell says he did not get involved, it is the board’s decision.
“There are people who are for it and people who are against it. The board is appointed by members of the Legislature, as well as by the governor, and they take their duty very seriously. They are right at the middle right now of this strategic planning process. There has been no master plan for Patriot’s Point and the board has taken upon itself to contract a master plan and they really want to wait before doing anything,” says Trammell.
Trammell says the board has not committed to anything yet, hence the reason for the three votes of opposition. He says in time, the master plan, even without the approval of the secession monument will benefit everyone involved.
“I really think in the end I think everybody is going to like the plan because it will be something that will put, not only put Patriot’s Point on solid financial footing, but will be a tremendous revenue generator for Mt. Pleasant, Charleston County, the Lowcountry, and the entire state,” says Trammell.
But, as for now, the 3-3 vote, considered a “no vote,” turns away the monument from being placed on the grounds of Patriot’s Point.
Antley says the Sons of Confederate Veterans will look into making other proposals to place the monument at another site.