Commissioner calls for Confederate statue to be taken down in Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Across the south, from Virginia to New Orleans, Orlando and now Gainesville, local governments are voting to remove statues and memorials to the Confederacy.

Alachua’s County Commission voted Tuesday to have a Confederate statue removed from Gainesville and to give it to the Daughters of the Confederacy.

Orlando’s City Council voted to remove a Confederate statue from a city park and have it moved to a cemetery.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller believes it’s time a Confederate statue outside of the Hillsborough County Courthouse is removed too.

“It’s divisive. It’s something that people think it’s time for it to come down, just like the ones that came down in New Orleans and the flags we took down in the county center, they feel it’s time for them to come down,” said Miller.

The statue was first dedicated in Tampa in 1911. Miller said people from all over the county have emailed his office asking why it is still standing.

David McCallister, with the Sons of Confederate Veterans, believes the statue should remain exactly where it is.

“We are part, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, are part of the diversity of Hillsborough County and deserve to have our culture recognized and our history and heritage recognized just as anybody else would,” said McCallister.

He also believes people who want it removed are trying to erase history.

“It’s a monument to the heroism of the local men that served in the Confederate armies. So, it’s a monument to veterans,” said McCallister.

Commissioner Miller said the monument stands for hatred.

“If it’s history, put it in a museum,” said Miller.

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