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Williamson County Democratic Party urges immediate retirement of existing county seal

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Williamson County Democratic Party

The Williamson County Democratic Party set up a voter registration tent at a Juneteenth celebration in Franklin on June 20, 2020.

The Williamson County Democratic Party urged county leaders Friday to immediately retire the county’s existing official seal while they consider adoption of a new one that’s not laced with Confederate imagery.

The party’s executive committee also called on businesses throughout the county to support the drive to replace the county seal and asked Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson to form a broad-based “reconciliation body” to stimulate a new dialogue among residents about racial inequities and disadvantages.

“Standing up against racism is not a partisan issue and it’s not about erasing the past,” said Kelly Baker-Hefley, chair of the Democratic party’s executive committee. “Our county seal should represent everyone. This is about creating unity and a more equitable Williamson County, particularly as we celebrate our nation’s independence.”

Last month, in the wake of racial protests and expressions of citizen concern, a committee of the Williamson County Commission voted to create a task force to evaluate revisions to the county’s official government seal. The current seal, which features a Confederate battle flag, was adopted in 1968 at the height of the civil rights movement “and reinforced our racial divides,” noted Baker-Hefley.

While the county government should be commended for starting a review of the seal, there should be no question about the need to retire the current divisive seal and to immediately “adopt an official seal that is uniting and uplifting to all Williamson County residents,” a resolution adopted by the Democratic Executive Committee states.

“I am grateful that the Williamson County Democratic Party has stood up and out to ensure equality for everyone,” said Howard Garrett, chair of the party’s diversity committee. “As we fight each day through injustices and inequalities, we are writing a new history towards positive and declarative change.”

While it may take some time to design a new seal, Democratic leaders implored the county government to refrain from attaching the current seal “to all publicly disseminated documents or digital communications or media.”

“I faithfully served my country under the American flag for almost 25 years and should be proud of all that Williamson County represents,” said Wanda Bruce Graham, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who is African American and a Brentwood resident. “This Confederate flag does represent history, a history of slavery, and is offensive. It’s time for the county to show its commitment to diversity, unity, equity and justice.”

For more information about the Williamson County Democratic Party, visit wcdptn.org.

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