Confederate banner stokes controversy ahead of Jacksonville Jaguars game

Jax monuments
This incident was weeks after antisemitic messages were displayed on Florida-Georgia weekend.

For the second time in 2022, a football game in Jacksonville was used as a platform for an offensive message.

Ahead of the Jaguars’ Sunday afternoon tilt against the Baltimore Ravens, a plane funded by the Save Southern Heritage group flew a banner above TIAA Bank Field calling for the restoration of confederate statues in Jacksonville.

“Put monuments back,” read the image recorded by Bonnie Upright Sunday.

Mayor Lenny Curry was quick to respond, noting that he wants all confederate monuments gone.

“As I’ve said before, there is no place for hate of any kind in our City. My position on monuments remains clear, I have allocated money for removal and empowered city council to take action,” Curry, who has removed one monument during his tenure, tweeted Sunday.

Mayoral candidate Donna Deegan also weighed in: “Once again, symbols of hate are on display as Jacksonville is on the national stage. But it doesn’t reflect our inclusive city. We stand united against any and all forms of hate, and we will take down all the monuments to a dark past. That’s our message to the rest of the world.”

Activists also expressed outrage, including the Northside Coalition’s Ben Frazier.

“The white racist sign in the sky is just another stunning example of why we must act quickly to remove the confederate monuments. We need Truth and Unity to guide us past racial hatred and painful memories of the city’s history. Truth is the roadmap to healing and reconciliation. We cannot ignore the lynching, enslavement and the terror that monuments represent. We must move forward and not backwards! Let the healing begin!”

“Today’s flying of a Confederate flag by the group called Save Southern Heritage over TIAA Bank Field shows that racism is alive and well in Jacksonville,” asserted Wells Todd on behalf of Take ‘Em Down Jax.

“This group’s banner read ‘put monuments back’ with a Confederate flag attached. Confederate monuments were put up long after the Civil War ended. They were used to send a message to the African-American community that white supremacy was the order of the day. Speeches at the time of the erection of these statues make clear that they represent the upholding of the philosophy of white supremacy, the support for slavery, segregation and racism.”

The incident comes just weeks after the Florida-Georgia Game, one of the biggest events on Jacksonville’s cultural calendar, was marred with antisemitic messages displayed at the stadium and elsewhere in town.

The antisemitic messages first surfaced on a overpass on Interstate 10 in western Duval County. A banner urged drivers to “end Jewish supremacy” and “honk if you know it was the Jews.”

Another one surfaced on Arlington Expressway, extolling Kanye West for being “right about the Jews.”

After the football game downtown, similar messages were broadcast on the stadium and other downtown buildings.

The city of Jacksonville has dealt with organized hate groups many times in its history, including repeated recent flyer distributions by the Ku Klux Klan. The call for confederate monument restoration from Save Southern Heritage comes after Mayor Curry in 2020 orchestrated the removal of a confederate statue in what is now called James Weldon Johnson Park.

Though a proposal from current mayoral candidate Al Ferraro that would have called for a referendum on the future of confederate monuments died earlier this year, the City Council has taken a cautious path on the seditionist statuary, which has vexed the Mayor.

“The Jax City Council should take a yes-or-no vote on the removal of monuments that represent the oppression of people. The people of Jax, that elected you, deserve to know where you stand. They elected you to make decisions,” Curry tweeted recently regarding a Confederate monument in Springfield Park, an object of local contention.

Curry’s proposal to move the monument was not embraced by the City Council.

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


25 comments

  • When will Republicans stop lying?

    November 27, 2022 at 12:29 pm

    Where is DeSantis? He has yet to condemn bigotry and hate.

    • Steve

      November 27, 2022 at 10:52 pm

      Really? You need the Governor of the state to comment on this? What about The President? Would you like him to comment as well? Comeon…look I don’t agree with the banner(s), but this is America. People are allowed to have their varying views. FREE SPEECH! Its a very special RIGHT. Allot of people have died protecting that right. Do everything you can to keep it, orotect it. having traveled the world it is one of the things that makes the USA special. Agree to Disagree. Look we are not perfect. So what? We are better than any ot the alternatives ive seen first hand in Europe, Asia, central America or South America +-62 countries

      • Joe Corsin

        November 28, 2022 at 7:20 am

        Well why don’t we just go ahead and allow people to fly an ISIS flag behind the plane. “Free Speech” right?

  • Karen

    November 27, 2022 at 12:46 pm

    The only hate I hear is that coming from the lefties who hate everything America & who get a free ride from those of us who work! Most citizens appreciate what this country has done for them & don’t know or care about statues! It’s people like you A.J. who make mountains out of molehills trying to be relevant!!

    • PeterH

      November 27, 2022 at 4:39 pm

      Karen compare the GDP and poverty in red states compared to blue states. There is a reason Texas and Arizona are turning blue! These two States are tired of the Republican empty promises of prosperity!

      The Republican Party is America’s biggest problem!

      Republicans must be removed from office at the voting booth.

      • steve

        November 27, 2022 at 11:11 pm

        Come on Peter, your not sharing the whole story here with your comments. There are many reasons for what we are seeing in Texas and Arizona with recent elections. Same with Florida. Not enough room to go into detail here but quickly 1) Candidates themself. 2) great migrations from former Blue states to TX AZ, Fl. These three states received most population growth over last two years with many coming from CA, NJ MI NY. Biggest factor in recent elections was Probably the quality of the actual candidates. Folks are tired of the reheric associated with former President Trump and the supreme court ruling on abortions. Ironically immediately after the abortion ruling, a bi partisan abortion law was submitted by Murkadky (R) Maine to restore abortion rights at the Federal level. However Pelosi would not being it up for a vote. Republicans need to move on from Trump. Dems need to move on from Biden. Both parties have younger sharp leaders who need to step up and take the lead of there respective parties. After 12+ years of nonsense, time to pull together and move forward.

      • Karen

        November 30, 2022 at 6:20 am

        Poverty & victimhood are the control tools of the left. Anyone living in America who wants to work can work! Ask any illegal coming across the southern border!

    • marylou

      November 27, 2022 at 7:52 pm

      On the contrary, Right-wingers hate America. Do you not hear them complain about everything that is “destroying the country”? They hate what’s there, and they rant about things that aren’t there. And you may already realize this, but *EVERY* time that righties talk about sex–which they see EVERYWHERE– they start talking about children! If this doesn’t scare you, you need to wake up!

      Also, the people who you are giving a “free ride” are the wealthy! Do you see them work? No! Look at Musk for example, you have given that fELON $Billions. He lives off government welfare handouts, like all the idle leeches!

      • Steve

        November 27, 2022 at 11:19 pm

        Wow. Too funny… I don’t think the ‘righties’ hate the country, nor do I think the Lefties hate our country. From what I see, just the opposite. Both sides appear frustrated. Allot needs to be done, and its just not happening. Folks are just frustrated with politicians and looking for answers and tempers are a flying. Take a deep breath, sit back, be patient. This is America! We will get there. We will find common ground. Sometimes it just takes a little more work and patience. This has been going on for 200+ years

  • John J Mitchell

    November 27, 2022 at 1:27 pm

    Your going to delay a game for a stupid thing like this!!!

  • Jim Smith

    November 27, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    “Diversity and inclusion” is code for anti-white. Just like the author of this article.

    • Joe Corsin

      November 28, 2022 at 7:22 am

      The author of the article is white but “anti white.”🤡

      • Jim Smith

        November 29, 2022 at 12:10 am

        Yes, white anti-whites tend to be extremely rancid.

  • Ocean Joe

    November 28, 2022 at 9:00 am

    And finally, the plane landed down at West Palm, and the pilot had dinner with Trump who later claimed he did not know him.

  • jerry Kimbro

    November 28, 2022 at 9:09 am

    It’s heritage NOT hate, you stupid people. Learn your damned history. The South WAS invaded by the North. Slavery was the excuse.,.. but they came down here to CRUSH us.. and they did.
    I bet none of you even KNEW that African Americans also fought for the South? Did you? NOPE. It’s hate hate hate with you people. that’s all you understand.

    • jerry Kimbro

      November 28, 2022 at 9:13 am

      To the moderators.. go ahead and ban my reply. It just proves my point when you do that. As the proud descendant of Confederate Veterans I KNOW THE TRUTH.

    • Al

      November 28, 2022 at 10:33 am

      Slavery was the excuse?
      Slavery was one of the main reasons; the south loved to have their slaves.
      Even after the war the south did everything to delay setting the slaves free.

  • Harold Finch

    November 28, 2022 at 9:22 am

    I fail to see the connection between white supremicists and Southern Heritage. Thousands of southern families, like mine had a grandfather or great grandfather or great great grandfather who served and fought in the Civil War, and none of these family members are racists or consider 99% of Civil War monuments racist.
    The Civil War, was fought for many reasons and yes very sadly one of those was slavery. But removing statues that honor the men who and died for what they thought at the time was the right thing to do, does not in any way perpetuate racism. That is something that an indiviual does.

    • Al

      November 28, 2022 at 10:49 am

      When what they believe in turns out in be inhumane treatment and loss of freedom, no, those monuments should go.

  • Jarvis Price

    November 28, 2022 at 2:07 pm

    Another fun fact. Trayvon Walker, the player the Jaguars spent the first draft pick on, comes from Thomaston Georgia, a town that for the last 7 months has had the Jaguars name, alongside Walker’s on the town courthouse, right next to “The first shot fired by the Confederacy” and two other pro-confederate monuments.
    But then, Walker is a product of the Upson-Lee (yes, Lee as in Robert E Lee, who the city school was named to commemorate. The city and county schools merged in 1992, to produce Upson-Lee School district, while the R.E. Lee Institute is now the R.E. Lee government offices, and holds the city offices.
    Walker would have known all this were bad, if he had passed history, but he didn’t. He didn’t pass most of his classes, but the school principle, Tracey Caldwell, falsified his transcript (aunt becky’d him) so he could play for UGA, and then resigned when it came out to avoid scandal
    In fact, I think they only took the banners down last week when Jaguars staff were in the town with Walker to try a foundation tax-dodge.

  • Mary Catherine Gordon

    November 28, 2022 at 3:13 pm

    Before and throughout the entire Civil War slaves, who were owned by Ulysses S. Grant’s wife Julia Dent, worked at Ulysses S. Grant’s White Haven home in Missouri, a Union slave state. I am against slavery. If the Civil War was started over the issue of slavery, why did President Lincoln choose Ulysses S. Grant to be his top general? Captain David Camden De Leon, a Jewish physician, was the first surgeon general of the Confederate States of America. I therefore find it strange that the CSA flag has become associated with that red flag with the black swastika in the middle. In 1862 General Grant issued Order No. 11 which ordered the expulsion of Jews living in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri. As far as I know, General Robert E. Lee never ordered the expulsion of Jews living within the Confederacy and General Robert E. Lee’s slaves were freed in 1862. I do not know why some people associate statues of General Lee and the Confederate flag with antisemitism. Many Confederate soldiers were Jewish. I never hear about people protesting the presence of statues of General Grant because of his antisemitic Grant Order No. 11. A number of times in the past I have voted for African-American candidates at various Duval County Florida polling/voting sites. If I am/was a racist, why would I find myself voting for African-Americans? I am not a racist.

  • Living in Dixie

    November 28, 2022 at 4:12 pm

    The Cenotaph in what was Hemming Park, across from city hall, was put up in 1898, to honor the soldiers from Florida who did not make it home from the war. Florida lost more soldiers by percentage than any other state. Charles Hemming a Confederate soldiers put up $25,000 to put the Cenotaph up with the soldier on top. The monument in what was Confederate Park, was put up by the United Confederate Veterans, which became the Sons of Confederate Veterans at a cost of $25,000 of which half was paid by the State of Florida. It was put up to honor the Women who kept the families together while the men were fighting a war. Just like women do today. It is called, Women of the Southland Monument. Curry is a snake, he was supported by Southerners, when Anna Brosche ran against him, then he stabs us in the back, he will never be elected to another office, not even dog catcher. Seber Newsome III

  • Jim

    November 29, 2022 at 4:43 am

    The GOPervets hate America – they are not given enough money .

  • MK

    November 29, 2022 at 11:09 am

    Wow the racists really showed up for this post. Kudos to Mayor Curry for sticking to decision on this. City Council needs to get this done.

  • Al Hayes

    November 29, 2022 at 11:17 pm

    Amazing that Old Lenny is afraid of a referendum on the issue. He knows he will lose.

Comments are closed.


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