Florida was probably the most useless state to the Confederacy. The population was small, land was hard to secure, and the biggest thing it really contributed to the controversial cause was salt. For a lot of reasons, it's not exactly the most controversial thing in Florida to try and disconnect ourselves from that Confederate history. Yet, in many ways Florida still continues to honor the time the Confederate flag flew over the state.
In fact, the Confederate battle flag is still enshrined on the seal of the state senate. It's featured with four of the other flags that have flown over Florida. The seal itself was adopted in 1973.
Sen. Arthenia Joyner, a Democrat from Tampa, introduced a resolution to remove the flag from the seal. Unusual for a Democratic idea in a Republican-controlled legislative body, the idea is passing through without much controversy.
The Senate Rule Committee passed the resolution unanimously yesterday. It now must be approved by two-thirds of the senate when the body officially opens its next session in 2016.
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"In light of the blood that was shed in South Carolina and the fact that the flag is emblematic of a painful period in our history, I felt it necessary to request that it be removed," Joyner told the media after the resolution was passed in committee.
This is not the first time Florida has sought to distance itself from Confederate symbolism. Famously, when Jeb Bush was governor he ordered that the Confederate flag be removed from flying outside of the state capitol and instead installed in a history museum.
During the next session, the legislature is also expected to discuss the idea of removing the state's statue of a Confederate general that stands in the U.S. Capitol's statue hall.