North Georgia man asked to remove Civil War display from yard
A North Georgia man said he is being forced to remove a Civil War display from his front yard.
A North Georgia man said he is being forced to remove a Civil War display from his front yard. Kevin Smith spent the last three years building the life-size display to depict battles fought on local soil. Now the Lafayette Housing Authority wants the display removed.
Kevin Smith said the mannequins and Confederate flags have been in his front yard for three years. He said he has no plans on taking them down.
Confederate flags and mannequins depicting Civil War soldiers fill much of Kevin Smith's front yard. He said each model and flag represents a certain battle. Smith said it's his way of educating his community. “Presentation. I tried to put the display around town so tourist can see the history and draw tourism here,” said Smith.
On Thursday, he received a notice from the Housing Authority saying the display "has to go" after complaints. “Complaints that the statues and confederate flag, and they would have to go.”
The notice cites complaints but does not say who filed those complaints. Smith can't understand the problem. “Mowers can get in here, zero turn mowers. It is not blocking the mowers or trimmers.”
Channel 3 reached out to Housing Authority officials, who refused to comment -- citing advice from their attorneys. A spokesperson said the authority is trying to work things out with Mr. Smith.
Smith says the Civil War played an important role in US and Walker County history. He doesn't want those years to be forgotten. “I am standing my ground. This is a part of our history. It is to educate so we don't fight another war.”
Smith said he has no plans to remove the display or leave his home. Based on the notice he was provided, it's not clear when the display must be removed or what action the Housing Authority plans to take if it is not.