A Georgia man is refusing to budge after the local housing authority insisted he remove a Civil War display from his front yard (video below).
Kevin Smith, 54, of Lafayette, Georgia, spent the last three years erecting a life-size replica of various Civil War battles in his front yard. The display is complete with Confederate flags and mannequins adorned in Union and Confederate soldiers' uniforms.
WRCB reports that the Lafayette Housing Authority has received numerous complaints about Smith's front-yard decorations and notified Smith of the "complaints about the statues and Confederate flag," and that they would have to go.
Smith is refusing to budge. "I tried to put the display around town so tourists can see the history and draw tourism here," he said. "It's history and it's heritage and it's not hate," Smith added.
According to The American Mirror, this incident is the latest in an ongoing trend to remove all public traces of the Civil War from the Old South, in response to the racially motivated church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, that took place in the summer of 2015. The accused gunman, 21-year-old Dylan Roof, posed with the Confederate flag in various photos on his Facebook account.
State officials have removed the Confederate flag from public displays all across the country, including from state houses, cemeteries, and public schools.
That has not deterred Smith from standing his ground. According to WRCB, Smith claims he has no plans to remove the display or leave his home. "This is a part of our history," Smith said. "It is to educate so we don't fight another war."
However, Fox 5 Atlanta reports that a compromise may be in the works. The Lafayette Housing Authority has suggested that Smith move his display to nearby Pocket Park. Smith has responded saying "I am open to relocate, as long as it is safe and it will not be damaged."
No word yet on any deadline for Smith to take down his display.