Housing authority: Civil War displays 'have to go'

A north Georgia man has been ordered to remove a Civil War display which has been in his front yard for over three years.

Lafayette Housing Authority told 54-year-old Kevin Smith he has to remove the exhibit which depicts the 1864 Battle of Lafayette. The scene includes several mannequins and battle flags on the postcard lawn. Smith said his goal is to educate the community and even tourists on what happened during the Civil War.

“I am trying to educate and present the flag in historic context. In fact, the mannequins are wired for sound, so that when you come up to them an MP3 player will have a voice that tells you what is going on,” Smith said.

While Smith calls himself a living historian, many of Smith’s neighbors on Oak Street said the display is overkill and has gotten too junky over the years.

“I am from the South, I don’t mind the Confederate flag, but this is too much,” Smith’s neighbor Casey McCauley told FOX 5.

The Lafayette Housing Authority slapped Smith with an order last week to remove the Civil War display from his government apartment. The agency would not answer inquiries from FOX 5, citing advice from the agency’s attorney.

Smith believes the First Amendment of the Constitution protects him, but he is open to compromise.

“I am open to relocate, as long as it is safe and it will not be damaged,” Smith said.

A compromise may be in the works to move the display to Pocket Park. No word on a deadline, when Smith must move the display.

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