Attendees of a rally against the possible removal of a Confederate monument on the Covington, Ga., downtown Square talk during a break in their event on Sunday afternoon, July 12, 2020.

COVINGTON, Ga. — Those opposing the proposed removal of a century-old Confederate memorial statue from downtown Covington are asking county commissioners to reconsider any votes they may take during a Tuesday meeting on the issue.

Covington businessman Bill Nash helped organize an event Sunday to rally support for opposing removal of the 114-year-old “To the Confederate Dead of Newton County” statue from the center of the Covington Square.

The “Save The Covington Monument Statue Peace Rally” also was designed as a fundraiser for legal expenses to halt its removal if approved by the Newton County Board of Commissioners Tuesday.

Covington police approved a permit for Sunday’s rally and for a second event this coming Sunday, from 2-5 p.m. on the Covington Square.

Nash told the group he and others quickly organized the event after a majority of Newton County commissioners chose in their July 7 meeting to discuss the possible removal of the statue at a future meeting.

County Commissioner Stan Edwards said the issue became so “hot” last week that Chairman Marcello Banes chose to set a special meeting for Tuesday.

Nash told the crowd at the Sunday rally that “we’re here to say the state law is clear” about local governments being unable to remove the monuments.

“Why would anyone in Newton County want our government to break state law? Actions have consequences and the taxpayers will hold them accountable,” Nash said.

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