CHAPEL HILL, NC (WNCN) — Two different groups squared off in Chapel Hill on Sunday and clashed over a statue that remembers Confederate dead on the UNC Campus.
Each group has differing views on the future of the statue, known as Silent Sam.
There have been several protests in the last few months from groups that are against the statue. Another one of those protests was planned between 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday.
But, a group of “Confederate heritage supporters” also had an event planned at 2 p.m. in support of the statue. Additional police officers were brought in.
With Confederate flags proudly raised they gathered in a nearby parking lot and marched to the statue. But before they could reach it they were met with another large group of protesters.
Police cleared a path. And so, two competing protests were held.
After both groups gathered on Sunday, members of each groups started yelling at each other.
Police were on the scene, barricades were erected and no violence was reported.
Some of the members of each group came face-to-face and tried to argue each position. As of 3:30 p.m., the groups were still on the scene and yelling at each other.
There were vulgarities yelled at the Confederate heritage group, which claims it was the first to organize the protest this Sunday.
A group of anti-Silent Sam statue protesters were seen telling pro group “they’re boring” and “F— the Confederacy.”
The smaller group of Confederate heritage supporters was less vocal.
The North Carolina division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy commissioned the memorial in 1913 to honor the 321 UNC alumni who died fighting for the Confederacy in the Civil War.
The UNC website notes that Silent Sam is a statue of a soldier carrying a rifle, but he has no cartridge box with ammunition and is thus silent.
The group in support of Silent Sam is called Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County and Orange County Taking Back Orange County.