Hillsborough commissioners hear public comments about Tampa Confederate statue

Guards are watching over the Confederate monument in downtown Tampa.
Guards are watching over the Confederate monument in downtown Tampa.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Hillsborough County Commissioners warned citizens to control their outbursts Wednesday morning during public commentary about the controversial Confederate statue in downtown Tampa.

During Wednesday’s meeting, commissioners are scheduled to discuss protecting federal monuments and moving the Confederate statue which is located outside the Hillsborough County Courthouse in downtown Tampa.

Last month, commissioners voted to have the statue relocated to a privately-owned cemetery in Brandon.

Wednesday’s meeting comes after members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans took turns standing guard over the Confederate war memorial in downtown Tampa on Tuesday night. The organization said it received credible threats that others were going to tear it down.

That’s what happened in Durham, North Carolina after the tragic events of Charlottesville fueled the fire over this long-standing, national controversy.

For groups like the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Hillsborough Florida Flaggers, they maintain, this isn’t a racial issue.

“This is a monument to the everyday solider, not the rich man, not the slave-holder. I’m not saying some didn’t, but this is a soldier’s monument, not a general’s monument,” said president of the Hillsborough Florida Flaggers, Donny McCurry.

While this group believes the statue is better suited where it belongs, the main hope is to keep it’s history alive.

“Wrong or right. Good or evil. History deserves to be taught to the next generation, so they know the goods and the bads of it,” says McCurry.

He says the Sons of Confederate Veterans will be at the county commission meeting Wednesday. They will be pushing for a referendum.

“We’d like to see this put on the ballot so Hillsborough County citizens can vote on it next August,” says McCurry.

Guards are watching over the Confederate monument in downtown Tampa.

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