Monument battle brewing over Forrest Park sign - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Monument battle brewing over Forrest Park sign

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MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – A monument battle is brewing in the Bluff City after Memphis officials had a Forrest Park sign removed. Now the Sons of Confederate Veterans want that controversial monument returned.

"Extremely angry," said Lee Millar with the Sons of Confederate Veterans. "We're trying to help the city out and help the parks department, and he sends someone here at night to take the sign out without notifying anybody."

Lee Millar is talking about a one ton, 10 thousand dollar granite monument at Forrest Park where there is a statue of KKK founder Nathan Bedford Forrest and where Forrest and his wife are buried.

"You just can't put signs up and monuments up in public parks and not get authorization," said Memphis CEO George Little.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans raised the money for the sign and put it in place with a crane several months ago.  Millar says the group got the city's permission citing a letter from March 2011 from the then-Memphis parks director.  The letter does give approval in part but does indicate there are more steps that need to be taken. 

"At the end of the day we didn't approve it," Little said.

"Mr. Little just didn't search far enough cause that was approved," said Millar.

So the battle is on. Lee Millar wants the sign put back. George Little says he'll return it to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, but it is not going back until there is approval by the city. And he says that seems unlikely.

Millar said he will not give up this fight. The monument will remain with the city until the Sons of Confederate Veterans reclaim it. We'll let you know if and when that happens.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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