Senate OKs replacing Confederate general’s statue


A bill to replace a statue of a Confederate army general as one of Florida’s two entries in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall was passed by the Florida Senate Thursday.

The Senate skipped debate and OK’d the bill (SB 310) by a vote of 33-7.

That move, however, puts the two chambers at odds: A House version (HB 141) would replace both statues, that of Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith and one of scientist/inventor John Gorrie of Apalachicola, a pivotal figure in the invention of air conditioning. Each state has two statues on display in the Capitol.

The House bill is heading to the floor after clearing all its committees in the 2016 Legislative Session.

The move to take down Smith’s statue comes after renewed debate about Confederate symbols, including the battle flag ubiquitous in the South.

A gunman charged with killing nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, last year had photographed himself holding the flag and made clear he was motivated by racism. South Carolina legislators later voted to remove the Confederate flag from the State House grounds.

A state replacing a statue has precedents.

Arizona, for instance, recently replaced John Campbell Greenway described as a war hero and controversial copper-mining executive from the late 1800s-early 1900s – with U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, a 20th-century conservative icon. Goldwater also was the 1964 Republican presidential nominee against Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson.

Jim Rosica

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at


  • Joyce Stevens

    February 12, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    The Charleston murders were awful. However, Dylan Roof did NOT represent any Confederate groups. The PC crowd is just using the murders as an opportunity for the Left to attack white Southern Christians with Confederate heritage.

    • Kim Paul

      February 27, 2016 at 12:43 pm

      You are wrong, its not just white Christians, its everybody black & white with a southern heritage. Some just aren’t willing to embrace the truth!

  • Janis Joplin

    February 12, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    You can’t change history. Seriously…think about that statement. You can’t “divorce” HISTORY made by ANY ONE whether you personally agree with them morally.

  • Renee Clark

    February 12, 2016 at 8:38 pm


  • Thomas Wolford

    February 13, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Why are you destroying Southern history?

  • Cliff

    February 13, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    Revisionist history, indoctrination, and fear of slavery cause the people to eliminate all signs of state sovereignty and self-government from their society. Federal tyranny prevails and the people become slaves to nationalist government. Irony.

  • James Phillips

    February 18, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Ridiculous how.the ignorant have taken over those with common sense

Comments are closed.


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