ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Despite the misunderstandings surrounding the origin of the Hill City’s formal title, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell says he is definitely on-board with its future adjustment.
In an effort to remove the stigma that comes along with the word “lynch” and the violent act it could represent, resident Daisy Howard sent a petition last month to City Council that has since collected over 5,300 signatures.
“The name of a city should not have such violent, racist, and horrifying connotations,” Howard says. “I understand it was named after a man named John Lynch, but why do we insist on explaining that when people react to its name poorly (understandably so)? Why do we insist on defending it? We understand the power in the word. We need to erase the power that word holds over the connotation to our city.”
“I personally support changing the name of the city of Lynchburg. It’s been an embarrassment to Liberty University ever since we started,” states Jerry Falwell. “That was one of the reasons Liberty’s original name was changed from Lynchburg Baptist College to Liberty Baptist College in 1976.”
The Hill City was named after its Quaker founder, John Lynch.
Falwell added he has no particular favorite when it comes to a new name for Lynchburg. He plans to sign Daisy Howard’s online petition as soon as possible.
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