>> The violent rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia have provoked heated debate over America's Confederate statues, which to many represent a hateful ideology, while to others they simply honor the dead. Reuters reporter Colleen Jenkins visited one town in North Carolina to see how they're treating their own controversial icon.>> There were no civil war battles fought in Alamance County, North Carolina.
But the county erected it's confederate monument here in the county seat of Graham, in 1914, to honor the 1,100 men who served from the county in the Confederate army. Those who support keeping the monuments say, to them, it does not represent racism or oppression. But rather is meant to honor the men who sacrificed for their family and their property.
>> One such supporter is Bradley Dixon, a 30 year old descendant of Confederate soldiers.>> I am 100% willing to do whatever it takes to keep the monument up I would put my body in front of the monument because I find that I am as attached to it as I am attached to the graves of my ancestors.
>> And so are the county commissioners in the mostly white Alamance County who have vowed the granite and marble confederate statue is here to stay.>> Let's just look at the original intention for the monument. And that is to honor the soldiers that fought for the cause that they fought for.
>> What were they fighting for?>> They were fighting against the federal government that was trying to unjustly make new laws and enforce regulations that were supposed to go to the state.>> It's not that simple. The county's local KKK founder spoke at the statue's dedication in 1914.
Saying it was important to remember the achievements quote of our own race and blood. Dixon's pride and his heritage helps explain why he and like-minded supporters are strident in their defense of symbols that to others represent a shameful past. Across the south and beyond, elected officials are stripping signs of the Confederacy from streets, schools and other public spaces, siding with those offended by memorials to the pro-slavery cause.
But national polling shows the majority of Americans actually don't mind them staying right where they are.