Franklin Confederate monument that has drawn protest is now vandalized

A Confederate monument in Franklin that in recent years has drawn protests was vandalized over the weekend.

The Robert E. Lee marker “was spray-painted and egged,” Franklin Police Chief Russell Whitman said.

The police department received a vandalism complaint Sunday at the monument’s site at the Eagles Lodge at 1075 N. Main St.

“The parking lot was also spray-painted ‘No Racist Monuments,’” Whitman wrote in a statement.

He stated “the unknown (at this time) male suspect is described as a taller, thin, white male wearing a black T-shirt and a black mask over his face. The case will be referred to the detective section.”

Confederate monuments have been in contention again following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the subsequent protests against racism and injustice.

In Franklin, controversy erupted in August 2017 after the city of Franklin removed the marker honoring Lee and the Dixie Highway from its location of 90 years at the corner of Hamilton-Middletown Road and South Dixie Highway.

In June 2018, the marker was placed back on public display on private property in front of the Eagles lodge, 1075 N. Dixie Highway, which is inside the city limits. The marker is lit and monitored by a surveillance camera. A private re-dedication ceremony was held by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Anyone with information is asked to contact officer Jacob Lacon at the Franklin Division of Police, 937-746-2882 or leave an anonymous tip at 937-743-1TIP (1847).

Staff Writer Ed Richter contributed to this story.

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