Miss New Jersey Kaitlyn Schoeffel was among the favorites to win the Miss America crown during the competition in Atlantic City on Sunday night.

Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions

She gave a dazzling talent routine:

She twirled during the bathing suit competition:

She also “wowed” in her evening gown:

Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions

Then Miss New Jersey was dragged into the controversy over the nation's Confederate statues, and her answer must have proven disappointing to activists hell-bent on historical censorship.

Judge Tara Lipinski asked Schoeffel about her view of the Confederate statue controversy.

Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions

“A recent poll found slightly over half of Americans favored leaving Confederate statues in place, while others want them removed. Keep them or get rid of them? What’s your vote and why?” Lipinski asked.

Miss New Jersey gave her honest answer, in defiance of the expected politically correct one:

Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions

“I don’t think that the answer is to get rid of these statues. I think the answer is to relocate them into museums. Because we are truly defined by our country’s history, and I don’t think it’s something that we need to forget. We need to always remember it and honor our history of America because it truly makes us who we are as Americans. So they should be moved to museums.”

The bold answer was applauded by fervent supporters across the nation, and predictably derided by her detractors:

Not everyone was ashamed of Miss New Jersey's defense of preserving history:

Miss New Jersey would go on to win second runner-up:

There are some who even believe that Schoeffel would have won if she gave a more PC answer:

Regardless of the reasons for placing second runner-up, Miss New Jersey made plenty of Americans, and many Southerners, proud of her. She stood by her convictions in the face of an immense of pressure with the Miss America crown on the line.

Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.

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