Billboard to Allendale Township: ‘Remove racist statue’

Ottawa County

ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A new billboard along Lake Michigan Drive renews calls for a statue of a Confederate soldier in Allendale Township to be taken down.

“Remove the racist Confederate statue,” reads the electronic billboard, which is just east of the Grand River and is visible to westbound drivers headed into Allendale.

It also directs readers to a website for the group that opposes the statue.

The statue in question is at Allendale Township’s Veterans Garden of Honor at 68th Avenue and Lake Michigan Drive. It depicts a soldier carrying a Confederate battle flag, standing back-to-back with a Union soldier. A slave child is at their feet holding a placard declaring the end of slavery.

Activists last year pushed for its removal, arguing it is offensive to African Americans and to veterans because it honors an enemy.

However, township officials decided in June that the statue would stay put.

The statue has been vandalized several times, most recently in November, when the tip of the Confederate battle flag appeared to have been smashed.

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