NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Department of Transportation has “respectfully denied” the Metro Council’s request to block the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue on Interstate 65.

The council approved a resolution to ask TDOT to plant trees blocking its view to the public on July 8.

The statue, which is surrounded by Confederate flags, sits on private property near the Harding Place exit.

Monday, the department sent the following statement to News 2:

TDOT does not plant foliage on its right-of-way with the sole intention of blocking items on private property based on what might be offensive to some and not to others. Therefore, the request of Metro Nashville’s Council to have TDOT plant vegetation on I-65 near the Harding Place Exit is respectfully denied.

Confederate symbolism has been an issue of debate across the country following a mass shooting at a South Carolina church. The alleged gunman, accused of shooting and killing nine black church members, affiliated himself with white supremacy.