ATLANTA – A Civil War museum near Atlanta says that a lone county commissioner, a black woman in office for six months, bullied it into closing.
But Henry County Commissioner Dee Clemmons says all she did was ask that the Nash Farm Battlefield Museum in Hampton move a few Confederate flags, and she’s mystified as to why the museum decided to close in response.
The argument has touched off angry social media exchanges in which Confederate descendants have criticized Clemmons.
The storm is reminiscent of the outrage that greeted the city of New Orleans’ decision to remove four Confederate monuments, including the towering statue of Robert E. Lee that came down last week. Clemmons says she has received 500-plus hate e-mails, including pictures of firearms.
The Nash Farm Battlefield Museum closed its doors for good this week after six years as a draw for locals and Civil War historians. All the artifacts and relics, including swords, guns and bullets, most of them provided by a single donor, have been removed.
The move came after Clemmons forced the museum to remove Confederate flags from public view, said Jimmy Pettitt, who chairs the board of the Friends of Nash Farm Battlefield. The decision was detailed on the farm’s Facebook page, casting Clemmons as the catalyst for the closure.
“The main reason is that the current District 2 Commissioner, Dee Clemmons, has requested that ALL Confederate flags be removed from the museum, in addition to the gift shop, in an effort not to offend anyone,” the board wrote.