What name belongs on Pack Square’s obelisk?

“Now that New Orleans has toppled its statue of Robert E. Lee, Asheville should take a hard look at the man we honor in our city’s most prominent public space….

“[The name of] Zeb Vance, North Carolina’s Civil War governor, is carved into the granite obelisk rising above Pack Square….

“Bringing down the monument has symbolic appeal, but it would be politically difficult and may not be necessary. After all, it is not a statue of a man but a simple spire that could be rededicated to a new cause.

“For a start, the city could place, near the monument, a historical marker that gives an unflinching account of Zeb Vance’s life and legacy. Another plaque detailing the city’s African-American heritage could be added as well.

“And then I’d propose that the city rename the obelisk.

“With the simple addition of two letters, the Vance Monument could become the Advance Monument….”

— From “The Advance Monument: A proposal for Asheville’s Vance problem” by Mark Essig in the Asheville Citizen-Times (June 3)

This wouldn’t be the first time Vance’s name had become part of an Advance.

 

 

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