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Confederate statues in Florida: A scorecard

Workers place boards around a Confederate monument on Hillsborough County property in Tampa on Aug. 17. [Eve Edelheit | Tampa Bay Times]
Workers place boards around a Confederate monument on Hillsborough County property in Tampa on Aug. 17. [Eve Edelheit | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Sep. 1, 2017
Updated Sep. 2, 2017

Hollywood commissioners were the latest officials in a Florida city to scrub lingering publicly displayed symbols of the Confederacy when they voted this week to rename three streets that honor Southern generals.

City commissioners voted 5-1 to rename Forrest, Hood and Lee streets, even though new names have yet to be selected. 

So now might be a good time to do a quick survey of all that’s happened across Florida this summer with Confederate statues and monuments.

BRADENTON: On Aug. 22, the Manatee County Commission voted 4-3 to move a Confederate monument honoring Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee from the county courthouse to storage. When crews tried moving it, at 3:30 a.m. on August 24, the top spire fell and broke in half. On Tuesday, a coalition of groups supporting Confederate monuments announced a new campaign to get commissioners to reverse their vote.

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS: Currently no plans to remove Florida’s oldest Confederate statute, at the city’s courthouse. The statue represents Walton County’s Confederate dead. It was erected in 1871.

FORT MYERS: Lee County’s NAACP executive boards is pushing to remove Robert E. Lee’s portrait of him wearing his military uniform from county commission chambers. The chapter supports a compromise allowing a portrait of Lee in civilian clothes. Lee County is named after the Confederate general. 

GAINESVILLE: On Aug. 14, work crews removed a statue known as ”Old Joe” that salutes fallen Confederate soldiers was removed from outside the Alachua County Administration Building and returned to the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.  

JACKSONVILLE: On Aug. 14, the president of the Jacksonville City Council called for the removal of Confederate monuments from public property. That would include a 62-foot-tall monument outside City Hall. Installed in 1898, the stature represents a Confederate soldier in winter uniform, a member of the Jacksonville Light Infantry.

LAKELAND: On Aug. 17, Lakeland City Commissioner Don Selvage said he wanted his colleagues to rethink the place for Confederate monuments like one in the city’s Munn Park. On Aug. 21, Jim Malless, another city commissioner, was the first to publicly support moving the 117-year-old monument. Lakeland Mayor Howard Wiggs, however, wrote a column on Aug. 29 supporting it. 

ORLANDO: A concrete soldier known as ”Johnny Reb” was removed from the city’s Lake Eola Park in June and taken away to its new home: Greenwood Cemetery. During the removal, city officials opened a time capsule against the wishes of the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s Annie Coleman Chapter, which commissioned the statue in 1911.  Officials found a trove of relics, including old newspapers, Confederate money and miniature Confederate flags.

PENSACOLA: On Aug. 16, Mayor Ashton Hayward said a statue dedicated to dead Confederate soldiers be removed from the downtown and put in a museum so it can be seen in its proper context.  On Aug. 26, there was a protest, and a counter protest, to removing the memorial.  Two arrests were made

ST. PETERSBURG: On Aug. 15, Mayor Rick Kriseman removed a stone marker noting the southern terminus of the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Highway at the intersection of Central Avenue and Bayshore Drive. The marker was stored at the Public Works Administration until the city could find the owner. 

TALLAHASSEE: Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum called on Gov. Rick Scott to remove a monument outside the Capitol that honors slain Confederate soldiers, but Scott is deferring to lawmakers. 

TAMPA: After a summer of marathon meetings on the fate of a Confederate statute outside the old county courthouse, private donations poured in on Aug. 17 to move it. About $180,000 was raised in one day, well past the $140,000 goal.