WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The legal battle continues over the Williamson County seal. In April, the Williamson County commission was given the green light to remove the Confederate flag that appears on the left quadrant of the seal.
However, an opposing group, the Sons of Confederate Veterans Maj. Nathaniel Cheairs Camp 2138, continues to take legal matters into its own hands.
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“The most controversial aspect is the Confederate flag draped over a cannon in the upper left quadrant of the county seal,” Dustin Koctar said.
Since June 2020, Dustin Koctar has been petitioning to alter the controversial seal that was adopted back in 1968. “That flag has historically been a symbol of white supremacy, racial intimidation, and terror,” Koctar said.
However, the removal first needed approval by the Tennessee Historical Commission—a state agency that upholds the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act. It is a law that keeps historical monuments from being removed.
“When the Tennessee Heritage Act was created, it was designed to protect confederate symbols,” Koctar said.
“The historical commission had to look to see if this act even applied to a county seal and they found it didn’t,” Jeffrey Moseley, Williamson County attorney said.
Moseley told News 2 that the historical commission granted Williamson County commissioners permission to alter the seal. However, the county seal remains unchanged due to legal hurdles as the Sons of Confederate Veterans filed a judicial review in Maury County.
“That’s just the other facet, how pro-Confederate organizations have spun their webs to protect these Confederate symbols for generations,” Koctar said.
Moseley said Williamson County filed a motion to dismiss the judicial review, but the legal battle continues as the motion will be heard on October 28.
“I am thankful that Williamson County continues to press forward in this and say, no we are going to, no matter what obstacles come up we are going to fight for it so we can change our county seal,” Koctar said.
An attorney for the Nathaniel Cheairs Camp 2138 Sons of Confederate Veterans released this statement to News 2:
“The Nathaniel Cheairs Camp 2138 Sons of Confederate Veterans believes that this matter was properly brought before the Maury County Chancery Court as this case falls under the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act. As a result, it is our position that venue is proper in Maury County. To that end, we look forward to presenting our arguments before the Court later this month.”