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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Confederate flag fell in Florida under Gov. Jeb Bush



Mitt Romney today called for the Confederate flag to be taken down in South Carolina, injecting the subject into the presidential campagin.

We've asked the Bush campaign if he agrees with Romney. It would seem so. Florida removed the flag under Bush. (Bush began yesterday not addressing the racial motivation behind the shooting in Charleston but then pointedly called the shooter a "racist."

UPDATE 4 p.m.: "My position on how to address the Confederate flag is clear," Bush said in a statement provided to the Tampa Bay Times. "In Florida we acted, moving the flag from the state grounds to a museum where it belonged. This is obviously a very sensitive time in South Carolina and our prayers are with the families, the AME church community and the entire state. Following a period of mourning there will rightly be a discussion among leaders in the state about how South Carolina should move forward, and I'm confident they will do the right thing."

From the St. Petersburg Times, Feb. 10, 2001.

TALLAHASSEE -- The Confederate flag was removed this month from the Florida state Capitol, with little notice and none of the uproar that accompanied its departure in other Southern states.

The "Stainless Banner," which features the Confederate battle flag design in the top left corner of a field of white, was retired Feb. 2. It had flown since 1978 outside the Capitol's west entrance.

Gov. Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris -- Republicans who angered thousands of black Floridians during the controversial presidential election -- simply decided it was time for the flag to go.

"Regardless of our views about the symbolism of the . . . flags -- and people of goodwill can disagree on the subject -- the governor believes that most Floridians would agree that the symbols of Florida's past should not be displayed in a manner that may divide Floridians today," Bush spokeswoman Katie Baur said in a written statement.

Flags commemorating the French, Spanish and British governments that once ruled the state and flew beside the Confederate flag also were removed. All four will be housed at the Florida Museum of History a few blocks from the Capitol.

"The governor is confident that a new historical display at the museum will better reflect the context and history of Florida's historical flags as we begin a new century," Baur's statement read.

Full story here.

[Last modified: Saturday, June 20, 2015 4:00pm]


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