Restricted Confederate statue removed from Utah college campus

CMWinkler

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An official at Dixie State College said discussion about removing the statue began once administrators became aware of the "people with issues with it being on our campus."


(Photo: Trevor Christensen, The (St. George, Utah) Spectrum)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Statue depicts soldiers carrying Confederate flagIt's not clear who owns the statueStatue will be kept in storage until ownership decided
8:01AM EST December 7. 2012 - ST. GEORGE, Utah -- A statue on Dixie State College's campus depicting two Confederate soldiers carrying a Confederate flag was removed Thursday afternoon.

The decision was made Wednesday by Dixie State President Stephen Nadauld, who has been discussing the removal of the statue with administrators, college public relations director Steve Johnson said.

"It's a valuable piece of art, even though we understand it has been a focal point of contention as part of this university naming process over the last couple of weeks," Johnson said.

The discussion to remove the statue began once administrators became aware of the "people with issues with it being on our campus," Johnson said.

Some students and faculty had expressed dismay at the statue's presence, saying it portrays the school in a poor light. The discussion surfaced in connection with Dixie State preparing to be elevated to university status, which is expected to happen early next year.

"I think it's a big day in Dixie's history. It's a positive sign that we're moving forward," mass communications student Ryan Mayfield said. "I think if we're going to be a university we need to cater to everyone's feelings, not just the community."

The fate of the statue is still in question. It was originally donated to the city and county in the late 1980s when the Dixie State's current Avenna Center was the Dixie Convention Center. When a new convention center was built, the state acquired the old property and the statue remained, Johnson said.

It is unclear who owns the statue, he said, but the college has been in contact with the St. George city attorney's office about it.

"Until we find out who owns it, we decided to take it down to protect it because it's worth tens of thousands of dollars," Johnson said. "We don't want anything to happen to the statue or the integrity of the statue because the college doesn't want to be monetarily responsible."

The statue will be removed from campus and put into storage until it is decided who owns it. The statue was created by local sculptor Jerry Anderson.

"You can understand our sensitivity for wanting to protect the statue because a local Washington County resident created it," Johnson said.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2012/12/06/confederate-statue-removed/1752095/

Also video at the above length. I'd never seen this statue before but it is a fantastic depiction of the war.
 

CMWinkler

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I looked at that, but it looks like the only thing they're trying to change in the name is college to university.
 

RobertP

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Ironic. You pay good money to attend a college called Dixie and then object to that statue. My guess is that it's some typically lefty prof who couldn't get a job anywhere else so decides to make himself relevant.
 

lakertaker

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Starting to get a good idea for a new museum - it could house and display all the misfit and objectionable flags, statues, books, religious symbols, etc. Would have to be big enough to include the Statue of Liberty, as it's only a matter of time until someone gets ****** off about it.:giggle:
 

AndyHall

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The link between the college and the Confederacy is virtually non-existent. That part of Utah was settled in the 1850s by Mormons from the Southern states and, because they grew cotton in that relatively warm part of the state, the area came to be known as Dixie. The school itself wasn't founded until the early 20th century, and there's no particular connection of either the school or the local community to the conflict of 1861-65.

The statue in this case is not a monument to Confederate dead, or to the Southern cause, or anything else like that. It was created in the 1980s as a symbol of school spirit, and in fact was inspired by a poem about two Union soldiers, that the sculptor decided to adapt for his own purposes. Unlike many colleges and universities, Dixie State College's Confederate symbolism is one manufactured out of whole cloth; artificial and contrived from the ground up.
 

James B White

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I'd never seen that statue before either, but that is a very nice one. I disagree with both the commenters pictured in the video.

Of course it's about Confederate soldiers among other things--is it really just a coincidence that it's on the campus of a place called Dixie State College?

If the other fellow doesn't feel safe on campus, I expect it's because of the living people around him, not the bronze soldiers, and the living people will still be there when the statue's gone. The most that the removal of the statue can do, is be a litmus test to show that if he's bothered by something, there are others who will take action to support him.

When such support is a foregone conclusion, statues can come back and be appreciated as art again, and I wish we could get to that point soon in this country. One doesn't hear the descendants of people conquered by the Romans complaining about the menacing statues of Roman gods and warriors everywhere.
 

AndyHall

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My guess is that it's some typically lefty prof who couldn't get a job anywhere else so decides to make himself relevant.
Members of the Board of Trustees, actually, including at least one alumnus and a current student. As for "typical lefty profs," I really do doubt that a small LDS-affiliated college in southern Utah is a hotbed of radical leftist ideology.
 

ForeverFree

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The statue in this case is not a monument to Confederate dead, or to the Southern cause, or anything else like that. It was created in the 1980s as a symbol of school spirit, and in fact was inspired by a poem about two Union soldiers, that the sculptor decided to adapt for his own purposes. Unlike many colleges and universities, Dixie State College's Confederate symbolism is one manufactured out of whole cloth; artificial and contrived from the ground up.

Wow. Thanks for the info. This would make for good reading at DeadConfederates.com.

- Alan
 

diane

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It's worth knowing that these kinds of symbols - CBF, etc. - have a different twist in the Western interpretation that has very little to do with racism. For instance, when large numbers of Southerners, mainly from Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas arrived in the Central Valley during the Dust Bowl, they often carried the Confederate flag. They were treated poorly - check out the Joads in Grapes of Wrath - and they used the flag as a symbol of resistance to that treatment.
 

AndyHall

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From here:

[Sculptor Jerry] Anderson contends his sculpture was not meant to glorify the Confederate cause, but celebrate brotherhood. It was inspired by the Edward Madden poem "Two Little Boys," which tells the story of two brothers fighting for the Union in the Civil War.
"The meaning is helping each other," Anderson said. "What more can you do than reach down to help a brother in need in war?"
He portrayed the soldiers as Confederates because the patrons who paid for the sculpture in the mid-1980s wanted to connect it with the Dixie Rebels, then the name of the school’s sports team and an integral part of the campus identity.
The statue isn't "heritage," much less history. It's school boosterism. Then there's this gem:
Jerry Anderson, the Utah sculptor who created the work, told the Tribune that the university should not have removed it. "It looks like they have succumbed to the adversary," Anderson said. "They are a bunch of wusses. That’s the first action taken to get rid of it. The other people are winning. That’s the way it is in the world. We are giving in to people who really aren’t Americans."

"Really aren't Americans," huh, Jerry? In deference to the CWT moderators, I will not share my thoughts on that comment.

Part of what's driving this is that the school has grown tremendously in the last few years. Until ten years ago or so it was a two-year junior college, and now it's seeking full university status. Up until recently, DSC was a small, isolated school that sailed along under the radar. It has a history of ugly racial stuff in its recent past; for example, white students appearing in blackface in the school yearbook as late as the early 1990s, and reportedly a blackface minstrel show as recently as October of this year. The situation at DSC is less about rampant political correctness run amok, than about a school that suddenly realized just how out of step it is with the larger society as a whole.
 

RobertP

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I looked at that, but it looks like the only thing they're trying to change in the name is college to university.
Quick google search said that they are indeed looking for a new name when they transition to being a university. Guessing The University of Dixie won win.
 

seboyle

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One doesn't hear the descendants of people conquered by the Romans complaining about the menacing statues of Roman gods and warriors everywhere.

What did the Romans ever do for us? Get their menacing statues out of my country! And their b***dy mosaics while we're at it. Dig 'em all up I say... :wink:
 

TerryB

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It's no stretch to say that somewhere down this road will be a place where we can't honor WWII vets because it might hurt the feelings of German-Americans or Japanese-Americans. One or two more stops along the way, and WWII will disappear from the textbooks and from all public discourse. Hopefully, not in my lifetime.
 

AndyHall

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It's no stretch to say that somewhere down this road will be a place where we can't honor WWII vets. . . .
As noted, neither the statue nor the school name had anything to do with honoring actual CW vets.
 

TerryB

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BTW, we put up a statue (by "we" I mean Nashvillians in general) of Forrest south of town, and I object to it because it's so gauche. It's a cartoon travesty that comes closer to portraying Yosimite Sam, so I wouldn't object to it being taken down.
 

JWheeler331

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That statue is one of my Favs. I think its one of the nicest and prettiest statues ever built. Maybe it will find its way into some museum or something and not just waste away unseen for ever.
 

AndyHall

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BTW, we put up a statue (by "we" I mean Nashvillians in general) of Forrest south of town, and I object to it because it's so gauche. It's a cartoon travesty that comes closer to portraying Yosimite Sam, so I wouldn't object to it being taken down.
We sure agree on that one, regardless of what one thinks of Forrest. It's "My Little Pony" on acid. When Jack Kershaw kicked off a few years ago, one blog headlined the story, "World's Worst Sculptor Dies."
 
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