- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Marion County Commission in Central Florida unanimously agreed Tuesday to restore the Confederate flag at the McPherson Governmental Complex following public backlash over its removal two weeks ago.

Towns throughout the South began removing the Confederate flag from public buildings following the June 17 church shooting of nine black congregants in Charleston, South Carolina.

Interim county Administrator Bill Kauffman decided to remove the flag because of the “perceived connotations of displaying the flag at governmental agencies,” said county spokeswoman Barbra Hernandez, The Ocala Star-Banner reported.

On Tuesday, residents showed up to the commission’s bi-monthly meeting to speak out about the decision.

“I think this is the wrong move on behalf of whoever decided to do this,” one resident said, a local ABC affiliate reported.

“It’s not about slavery, it’s about honor and pride,” another resident said.

“That flag is a symbol of my heritage, a symbol of where I come from, the South,” said resident David Stone. “I want to see that beautiful flag put back on the flagpole where it belongs.”

After hearing comments about the issue, the commission voted unanimously to put the Confederate flag back.

“It’s a passionate issue on both sides,” said Commissioner Stan McClain. “What we’re trying to do is interpret the historical relevance of this display we have. It’s either take the whole thing down or use it as an educational tool.”

The Marion County Commission said it will create a historical display so that people can understand the significance of the Confederate flag as well as the other flags flying in front of the complex, The Star-Banner reported.

There was no one at the meeting Tuesday who spoke in support of removing the flag, ABC reported.

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