Jay Fant files bill to protect Confederate monuments from removal, desecration

Fant video

Rep. Jay Fant, a Jacksonville Republican running for Attorney General, filed the latest in a series of base-pleasing bills Monday for the 2018 Legislative Session.

Fant’s HB 1359 (the “Soldiers’ and Heroes’ Monuments and Memorials Protection Act”) contends that any wartime monument erected after 1822 on public property may only be moved for its repair or the repair of the property containing it.

If a monument is to be “sold or repurposed,” it is to be placed somewhere of “equal prominence” as the original location. This subjective criterion may be a stumbling block for this measure in committee.

Willful defacement of a monument: a third-degree felony.

The bill’s chief imports: forestalling removal of Confederate monuments, as happened most recently in Memphis. And establishing criminal penalties for tampering, which would supersede the ordinance code or enforcement inclinations of rogue municipalities.

Fant’s hometown Jacksonville dealt with a Confederate monument removal debate in 2017; Jacksonville City Council President Anna Brosche took a position in favor of moving monuments to museums, as they divided the community

Polling was not in her favor, however, and Council didn’t back her play with any legislation.

Fant’s legislative docket is serving up more red meat than the butcher at Avondale’s renowned Pinegrove market.

If enacted, his “Free Enterprise Protection Act” would: “Ensure that Florida business owners are protected from government sanctions and penalties when they are exercising their first amendment rights.”

Fant was inspired to file FEPA by the case of a Colorado baker who balked at making a wedding cake for a gay couple, as said the baker saw the act of baking as sanctioning their choice to marry. FEPA would protect the free speech rights of businesses.

Fant also is carrying the House version of a Senate bill that would allow people to carry guns to, from, and during events in Florida’s great outdoors; if it clears the governor’s desk, everyone from crabbers to dog-walkers will be protected while packing heat.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • seber newsome

    January 8, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Jay Fant is a man on integrity. I will support and vote for him. Poll after poll have shown that registered voters want to keep the Confederate Monuments where they are. Listen to what the people want!!!

  • Frankie

    January 8, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Way to appeal to Trump’s base! Glad to see someone protecting these monuments from something that will never happen. I guess fant got tired of trying to repeal the HRO so he decided to diversify.

    • David

      January 8, 2018 at 8:31 pm

      Gainesville removed it’s confederate statue along with tampa and I believe Orlando. So, it is happening.

    • Seber Newsome III

      January 9, 2018 at 3:00 am

      All veterans monuments in Florida have been under attack and vandalized. Men and women who served and gave their lives and limbs to protect our country. I am a veteran as was my father and great grandfather. This bill also protects monuments to our law enforcement and firefighters. All are heroes. Lets protect their memory from those who hate them for whatever narrow minded reason they have.

  • Jim Shilling

    January 8, 2018 at 11:50 pm

    Stop with the Trump stuff. Jay Fant is a good Christian man that always does the right thing. What’s so bad about saving U.S. history and monuments. I say keep the immigrants and deport people like frankie…

  • Rev. Michael Laing

    January 9, 2018 at 1:52 am

    I applaud Mr. Fants efforts, but further defining needs to occur. One city ( doubtless not the last,) got around all efforts to save confederate monuments, and thumbed their noses at all who would hold them to task, by secretly, in the middle of the night with no prior announcement, SOLD their park, with all memorials, to a private third party.

    No longer a public park, the memorials, inclusive of Gen. & Mrs. Forrest’s grave markers are forfeit, gone to public, and in hostile possession.

    Further language directed to this sort of middle of the night chicanery, on the part of officials keeping secret their own bias and historic illiteracy, must be considered.

    Efforts are even in play for the loss of the monuments of Stone Mountain Georgia.

    Do not underestimate the potentials of agencies such as the NAACP, or the American Poverty Law Center.
    If any flaw exists,
    They. WILL, take advantage of it.
    The first actions of this War of Heritage have already taken place, if we do not take it seriously, our story, heritage, and memorials, WILL be lost to “Revisionistic History,” and no one will be around to tell the truth.

Comments are closed.


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