By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org
Eight years after the Florida senate stripped the confederate battle flag from that chamber’s official seal, a state senator tried briefly Tuesday to ensure the confederate flag could fly at government buildings across the state.
But about an hour after Florida Bulldog called Sen. Jay Collins, R-Tampa to ask why he wanted to allow that powerful symbol of racial oppression to be displayed at state and local governments and at public schools and universities he withdrew his proposal.
Collins, who had the endorsement of Gov. Ron DeSantis when he defeated influential Democrat Janet Cruz last November, did not respond to a request for comment. “He was a Green Beret and is a Purple Heart amputee. I look forward to serving alongside him in Tallahassee,” DeSantis wrote on Twitter before last November’s election.
Senate Bill 668, filed by Collins, seeks to prohibit state and local governments from displaying flags that don’t follow “a certain protocol or comply with specified requirements.” An amendment also filed by Collins includes a list of dozen flags that would be authorized to be flown at state, county and local buildings in Florida.
In the middle of the list: “The flag of the Confederate States.”
Not on the list: The oft-displayed rainbow, or pride, flag of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) movements.
‘A RELIC OF THE PAST’
Eight years ago, then Senate Minority Leader Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, spearheaded a successful effort to erase the confederate flag from the Florida Senate’s seal. She was appalled by Collins’s proposal.
“The confederate flag is a relic of the past. It represents and is a symbol of the worst of this country’s racism and hate and evokes anger and fear and trauma in black people for sure,” she said. “Back then we had a different kind of Republican Party, people who respected where America was and where it ought to be. It is abhorrent that he would allow this symbol of slavery and hatred to be flown after all that has been done in America. It just appears now that there is a move afoot to take us back to slavery. But we’re not going. We’ll die first.”
Brandon Wolf, a spokesman for the LGBTQ civil rights organization Equality Florida, said in a statement, “From its filing, it has been clear that this bill was intended to target Pride flags, among other forms of expression for marginalized communities. Flags have historically been used to connect communities in an exercise of free speech and this radical censorship bill has always been about attacking visibility for minority groups.
“The amendment to exempt Confederate flags, the symbol of those who tried to tear the United States apart in defense of slavery, sends a clear message that right wing politicians would sooner prop up racist relics of traitors past than allow LGBTQ Floridians and other communities to see themselves publicly celebrated in their communities by way of flags,” he said.
‘A CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUE’
A senate staff analysis of SB 668, which would take effect July 1, does not mention the amendment’s endorsement of the confederate flag, but the bill may have a “constitutional issue.”
That’s because “by limiting the flags that may be displayed by governmental agencies, local governments, or other units of local government,” the prohibition of other flags “may be determined to limit speech.”
The flags allowed are Florida’s flag, the American flag, the POW-MIA flag and the Honor and Remember flag.
In addition to the confederate flag, the withdrawn amendment added as acceptable the United Nations flag, the flags of foreign nations, the flags of the U.S. Armed Forces and the Florida National Guard, city and county flags, college and university flags, flags indicating beach warnings and the Olympics flag.
A companion bill, HB 1011, is also pending.
Senate Bill 668, minus the withdrawn amendment, is scheduled to go before the Senate’s Governmental and Oversight Committee Wednesday.
Dan / March 14, 2023 9:32 pm
The official confederate flag is the white flag. They lost and gave up their rights to fly the losers flag. America has one flag.
Dave Manning / March 15, 2023 10:12 am
The Confederate flag or CSA flag has tremendous historical significance as it represents the South in the War between the States. The war was fought over states rights, slavery had very little to do with the war. The CSA as a nation never formally surrendered to the butchers of the North and as such remains an occupied country. The South will rise again.
SandyB / March 15, 2023 2:12 pm
Power of the press! Thanks for representing the public right to know when things like this rear their ugly heads.
Thomas Grady / March 15, 2023 2:51 pm
I haven’t lived in the South for 50 years, but I remember how some people took Rebel pride in that racist flag. Not necessarily because they were racist, but because they embraced the values of Southern hospitality.
We can create a new Rebel flag but it will represent the new South and its modern ideas of equality.
First a science lesson on the human family, supported by modern genetics, biology, zoology, and anthropology.
If you believe in race, you’re a racist! The concept of race is Arian propaganda, designed to enslave Africans and murder Native Americans.
Humans as stated are one family and one species who share mitochondrial Eve DNA, that was traced to an East African woman living in modern day, Sudan. This stated science should be taught in schools instead of the pledge of allegiance. Having children parroting allegiance to a national flag is for fascists. Program them to be Africans who take pride in equally, freedom, and justice for all.
I designed a new Green Rebel flag with these values in mind, because I loved the good ol boys and girls who embraced everyone, believed in the more the merrier, that everyone should eat at a barbecue, and agreed that blacks were mistreated. This is what the Green Rebel flag represents. I’d send a pic but that’s not possible.
Here is a description of the flag.
I took the rebel flag and gave it a green background. The future is green so let’s go there. Also, I’m working on getting Mississippi the first Industrial Hemp manufacturing, and processing plant in America. This plant will produce hemp fiber bags, replacing all 600,000 billion plastic bags globally, that’s 1 million bags a minute! Plus, we will grow the hemp fields to produce the fiber that supports our manufacturing and processing. Our goal is to make Mississippi the richest state in the nation and leaders of the Green manufacturing revolution. So a Green rebel flag makes sense.
I put a white heart in the center of the X. The represents a surrender and acceptance to equality.
In the center of the heart I put a black 1. This represents one human family, one species, one nation maintaining democracy and freedom.
I believe this concept will satisfy the sentiments of all people, while allowing those white African non haters to keep values they cherished. You should know I’m considered an American dissident and banned from all social media for my view on transforming America.
Thank you for your time, as a white man, I wear my African roots necklace with pride, and so should you.
Let it Be – the Industrial Hemp Agricultural Revolution during the sixth great extinction.
Free – Kindle Unlimited or onlinebookclub.org
Frank / March 15, 2023 4:04 pm
David Manning is a loser just like the Confederates so I’m not surprised he wants to fly a loser flag of a traitorous army.
Northern Victor / March 15, 2023 7:02 pm
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Only an ignorant hillbilly would think the United States Civil War was about anything OTHER than the issue of continued slavery in the country. Simply look at the states which initially seceded and READ their letters of secession. 4 of 7 EXPLICITLY cited slavery as the reason for secession. No less an authority than the CSA Vice-President gave the “cornerstone” speech; again, EXPLICITLY citing slavery as a cause for secession. The CSA most certainly surrendered and the individual states rejoined the Union.
JB / March 20, 2023 6:40 pm
The Confederate Flag haters are the same as racists
TomH / March 21, 2023 12:04 pm
“Only an ignorant hillbilly would think the United States Civil War was about anything OTHER than the issue of continued slavery in the country.”
Lincoln: “It is a war for a great national object, and the [slave] has nothing to do with it.”