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Confederate Flag at County Center Comes Down

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Hillsborough County Commissioners unanimously voted on Wednesday to bring down the confederate flag display at the County Center in Tampa.

Commissioner Les Miller, the only black commissioner on the board, proposed a motion to take down the flag. Commissioner Stacy White provided a counter argument and wanted to leave the issue up to a referendum for voters to decide.

"This conversation about the eradication of Confederate symbols isn't going to do a single thing to address how we can work to eliminate the types of actions that you saw in Charleston," White said. "We can do better than that in Hillsborough County."
But no other commissioner seconded his motion. 

Commissioner Kevin Beckner said this was not a question of what the flag represents.

"In my mind, the question is what is the most appropriate forum and place where history can be discussed in a true context, in an intellectual and historical manner and a civil manner," Beckner said. "And the question is, does that belong here in County Center?"

Commissioner White then decided to vote in favor of Commissioner Miller's motion. 

"Since Commissioner Miller's motion calls for the display to be moved to the History Museum, and not simply thrown into the dustbin, I will be supporting his motion at this point," White said.

Commissioner Miller was touched by White's decision to vote and in a tearful response he said, "We can't erase history and that's not what I'm trying to do.  I'm trying to put history in its place. This flag to me, hurts."

The Confederate flag display will be brought down on Thursday and it will live in the Tampa Bay History Center.

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