Walton County Commissioners vote to keep confederate flag flying in front of courthouse

Published: Jun. 23, 2020 at 6:11 PM CDT
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DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WJHG) - A motion to remove the confederate flag from in front of the Walton County Courthosue failed by a vote of 3-2 at Tuesday’s Commission meeting. Commissioners Tony Anderson and Bill Chapman voted for the removal, and Commissioners Danny Glidewell, Melanie Nipper, and Trey Nick voted against it.

Across the country, people have been calling for the removal of confederacy related monuments and symbols, in the wake of the recent notable deaths of African Americans.

In DeFuniak Springs, people are also asking county leaders to make some changes.

"We are dependent upon you all to do what's right," said Anthony Johnson, a Walton County Resident.

At Tuesday’s commission meeting, locals asked the commissioners to remove the confederate flag and memorial from outside the courthouse. “That flag has always been a symbol of hatred, racism, bigotry, and prejudice,” said Johnson.

Other locals said the flag and the memorial should stay. "It's military, these were veterans of a war, and they fought under a different flag, so that flag is representing them in the afterlife, it's honoring their service," said Stephen McBroom, a Walton County Resident.

Commissioners were divided on the issue, which was brought up in 2015, and put up to a vote in 2018. Chapman said "things have changed in the last two years," to which Glidewell responded, "That doesn't mean you can ignore the will of the people."

"I'm military through and through... that's all I'm going to say," said Nipper.

"When do we start rewriting history?" asked Nick.

"I really think we need to honor this flag and monument by having it at the battlefield," Anderson said.

They ultimately decided by a 3-2 vote not to remove the flag. "I spent 50 years fighting this, and I've got children, a son and a grandson, and for the sake of them the fight must continue," said George Hogans, a Walton County Resident.

In 2018 commissioners allowed the citizens of Walton County to vote on the flag. They voted to keep it.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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