Most casual observers assumed the Florida Senate was going to mess around when it came to the seemingly simple business of removing the Confederate flag from its official seal. After all, the Senate just started its third special session of the year in yet another attempt to redraw Florida's unconstitutional congressional districts. But surprisingly, the Senate actually decided to get that Confederate flag business out of the way with relative ease.
Earlier this month, the Senate Rules Committee unanimously agreed that the stars and bars should be removed from the seal after a suggestion from Senate Democratic Leader Arthenia Joyner. However, the issue wasn't expected to come up until the start of the regular session in January. In fact, the issue wasn't even scheduled to come up during this 19-day special session.
However, Senate President Andy Gardiner, a Republican from Orlando, allowed the issue to move forward, unscheduled, this afternoon.
As a procedural issue, the motion didn't require a vote with each senator putting a vote on issue. However, the motion drew no objections and was officially passed.
The seal had featured what's commonly referred to as the "five flags of Florida," which are the flags of every nation that has flown over the state — not counting the flags of any Native American tribes, however. That included the flags of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and the Confederacy.
The new design replaces the Confederate battle flag with Florida's state flag.
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It's possible, however, that the new design could just be a temporary replacement. In fact, the "five flags" scheme may eventually be done away with altogether.
"(We should) look at all the flags on the seal," Sen. Rob Bradley, said during discussion on the senate floor. "There were things that occurred in the name of some of these flags that history has now looked upon as being abhorrent."
Whoa, we have a Republican state senator from Florida actually taking issue with the colonial violence undertaken under the flags of European nations.