A Florida county is bucking the politically correct trend of removing the Confederate flag from government property, and actually reinstated the banner to help showcase the area’s rich history.
Marion County commissioners voted Tuesday to overrule a decision last week by the county administrator to remove the Confederate flag from public display due to the ongoing national controversy over whether it is a “symbol of hate” or a symbol of Southern heritage.
The Civil War-era flag has flown outside the government complex for more than two decades as one of the five national flags that have flown over Florida since European explorers first landed on its shores
According to local News 13, residents of the central Florida county overwhelmingly supported the commission’s decision to keep the battle flag flying next to the Spanish, French, British and American flags to celebrate the area’s 500-year history.
County Commission Chairman Stan McClain told News 13 that even though he originally agreed with the decision to take the flag down, he ultimately decided historical preservation was more important.
“It’s a passionate issue on two sides,” McClain said. “What we are trying to do is interpret the historical relevance of this display we have. It’s either take the whole thing down, or try to use it as a historical tool from a historical perspective.”
Commissioners are considering the possibility of including a marker – possibly with the help of the Historical Society – to make the relevance of the flags more obvious.
“History is not always pretty, but it remains as our history. [The flag is] back where it should be,” one resident who attended Tuesday’s meeting told News 13.