As conversations about racial inequalities and injustices continue to make waves across the country, some Williamson County residents have taken a second look at the official county seal, which bears the image of a Confederate battle flag.
Following a wave of emails from concerned citizens earlier in June, the Williamson County Property Committee voted on Wednesday to approve the formation of a new task force. The sole purpose of this group will be to evaluate the necessity of a revision of the seal.
Commissioner Brian Beathard, who while not a sponsor of the resolution was a signatory, explained to the best of his knowledge what the intent of the new task force was to be.
“My understanding is that the resolution came from the Mayor’s office, and it is, as the title aptly describes, the request to form a committee,” Beathard said.
“The committee would be made up of citizens [who], by and large, are at least one generation - several will need to be second and third generation - Williamson County residents. It’s a mixture of clergy, Williamson County historians as well as African Americans.”
County Attorney Jeff Moseley explained that the commission would be composed of several different members who meet a specific set of criteria. Those are as follows:
One representative of Williamson Inc.
Two representatives from two third-generation Williamson County families, with at least one being of an African American family
One representative of the Heritage Foundation
One representative from the African American Heritage Society
One African American business owner
One African American religious or community leader
One representative from the Williamson County Convention & Visitors Bureau
County Historian Rick Warwick
“They would be tasked really with two tasks; one, to determine whether or not a change should be made to the current Williamson County seal,” Beathard continued. “If so, the second task would be to come up with an idea that they would present to us at a later date with what they believe should replace the Confederate flag that is currently on our seal.”
With three members of the Property Committee absent Wednesday, the vote on whether to approve the new task force passed 3-1.
Commissioner Bert Chalfont was the only nay vote, who said “in regard to altering history, I have to vote no.”
While the Property Committee voted to approve the formation of the new task force, the County Commission will ultimately have to approve the task force’s formation. The next meeting of the County Commission will be on Monday, July 13.