Confederate marker back on display in Franklin

A Confederate marker in Franklin is back on display, this time on private property in the city.

Earlier this month, the five-ton rock with a plaque honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Dixie Highway was installed at the Fraternal Order of Eagles lodge, 1075 N. Dixie Highway, according to Franklin Twp. Trustee Brian Morris.

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In its new home, the marker is lighted and monitored by a surveillance camera, according to a member of the Eagles who declined to be identified.

“We’re happy with it, but we don’t like people who might mess with it,” he said.

Plans are also being made, according to the Eagles member, for the United Daughters of the Confederacy to hold a re-dedication ceremony of the marker this fall. The organization originally erected the marker in 1927.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy declined to comment.

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Last August, controversy erupted after the city of Franklin moved the marker from its former location of 90 years at the corner of Hamilton-Middletown Road and South Dixie Highway. The move came after a counter-protester was killed in Charlottesville, Va., when white supremacists marched to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue there.

Up to that time, city officials said they were unaware the marker was in the road’s right of way, which is why the city said it was moved.

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During the late-night removal by a city crew, the marker’s plaque was damaged as it was delivered to Franklin Twp. after the city determined it belonged to the township. The city arranged for the plaque to be repaired and returned to the township.

Township officials determined the marker belonged to the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

After heated city council and township trustees meetings, Morris worked with the Eagles, who agreed to have the marker relocated to their property.

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