PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Across the country, some Confederate monuments were pulled from public view after police officers killed George Floyd in 2020. But, not in Mathews County.

Last November, voters in a referendum decided the monument – which sits on county property – will stay put.

Now the Board of Supervisors is taking steps to give that land to two Confederate organizations.

“The Board is doing a land survey to plot out that land to see about giving it to them. They haven’t made a decision yet,” said Edith Turner, the president of the Mathews NAACP.

This week, on private property, a Confederate flag was installed with smaller flags encircling the pole. That flag is in sight of a local elementary school that was once named for two Confederate generals, as well as a neighboring middle school.

The civil rights group says the recent installation is a sign of the times.

The controversy is playing out on the opinion and editorial pages of the Gloucester Mathews Gazette-Journal.

In a piece dated May 5, Turner wrote, “if the land around the statue is conveyed to these two organizations, we should reasonably expect to see more and larger Confederate flags in that space.”

Dr. Melissa Mason

Days later, citizen Bobby Dobson followed by asking, “do you think we are going to let you continue with this without fighting back?” He concluded by saying “get over it and leave matters alone, and we will get along once again.”

10 On Your Side has reached out to Dobson to learn more about his position on the controversy.

Mathews is spending up to $2,000 for the survey which will be needed if the land is given to two organizations: The Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Board member, Dr. Melissa Mason, voted for the survey but would not comment on whether she would approve gifting the land known as the court green to two Confederate organizations.

However, she told 10 On Your Side the gifting issue is creating division in the community.

“The situation is hurtful to a group of people,” Mason said. “How can you constantly do something that is hurtful to a group of people?

Mason says a public hearing will be held in advance of the land giveaway vote.