No insult to Washington intended, group says

joconnor@thestate.comJanuary 18, 2011 

No offense was intended.

The S.C. NAACP said Tuesday it was not trying to hide a State House statue of George Washington at its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day rally Monday.

The group has draped the founding father’s statue at previous rallies. It did so again this year, and questions quickly arose about whether Washington was being slighted.

Not so, says the NAACP.

A three-sided structure that covered the front and sides of the statue was intended to display a rally graphic and serve as a photo-and-television backdrop for the event’s speakers, said S.C. NAACP executive director Dwight James. However, the graphic was not finished before the rally and could not be put in place.

Photos from the event showed a three-sided box with Washington’s statue visible only from behind the stage. “What we had constructed was a background with a graphic to be placed on it,” James said. “We weren’t trying to obstruct anything.”

King Day organizers have built similar structures around the statue dating back at least to 2007, according to The State newspaper’s archives.

Most State House rallies, including Saturday’s anti-abortion rally, use the statue as an unobstructed backdrop.

The State is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service