NAACP chapter calls for removal of Marion County Confederate statue, flag

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — In Marion County, Veteran’s Memorial Park is the home of a Confederate statue and along a historic trail a rebel flag that was once raised over the Capital Building in Tallahassee flies.

They are the only two Confederate symbols displayed in the county, but in the wake of the Charlottesville violence, a local NAACP chapter has called for their removal.

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In a letter to the Marion County Commission, the NAACP urged leaders to remove the Confederate symbols because they promote “white superiority, xenophobia, racism, bigotry, intolerance, anti-Semitism and division.”

County officials, though, said the statue and flag belong in the county, not as a symbol of current times, but in their historical context.

As in other parts of the state and country, local opinions on the Confederate symbols were mixed, with some saying they are a part of history and others arguing that they are offensive and disrespectful.

In the light of violence between alt-right neo-Nazis and white supremacists and counter protesters in Charlottesville, Marion County officials called for a calm discussion on the Confederate symbols in the county.

“These discussions need not be based on race, that’s the problem,” Commissioner Carl Zalak said. “They need not be based on violence, they need to be based in civil discourse.

“We need to have a discussion. If our community is upset about (the Confederate statue and flag), we will hear them.”

Myrt Price

Myrt Price, WFTV.com

Myrt Price joined the eyewitness news team as a general assignment reporter in October of 2012.