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  1. Florida Politics

Confederate flag returns in Ocala — to 'educate the community'

Marion County maintenance worker Vic Pollock adjusts the Confederate flag outside the McPherson Governmental Complex in Ocala on Tuesday. The Marion County Commission voted Tuesday to put the flag back up after taking it down recently. [Associated Press]
Published Jul. 8, 2015

OCALA — As lawmakers in South Carolina consider removing the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds, a north Florida county has decided to do the opposite.

The Marion County Commission voted Tuesday unanimously to again fly the Confederate flag in front of a government building, weeks after it had been taken down.

The interim county administrator had removed the flag at the McPherson Governmental Complex in Ocala, joining other communities across the South and nationwide that took down or reconsidered Confederate symbols after the June 17 killing of nine black people at a Charleston, S.C., church. A white man who appeared in photos waving Confederate flags is charged.

The Ocala Star-Banner reports ( tbtim.es/ky1) that several citizens spoke in favor of restoring the flag.

Ocala resident John Horrighs said removing the flag was "bowing to political correctness."

Commissioners say it'll be flown with a display explaining its historical significance.

"What I realized is that we have not done justice to the historical display," commission Chairman Stan McClain said at Tuesday's meeting, according to the Star-Banner. "I'm sure most folks are in favor of educating the community."

The Marion County Historical Commission will be tapped to create an outdoor museum about the flags flown on the property.

"This will help identify opportunities for connectivity and education about local history within the complex grounds," the commission said in a statement later Tuesday.

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