Monument protection bill filed in House, Senate
The Confederate monument in Springfield Park stays. Image via News4Jax.

confederate
Confederate monuments and others would be protected from removal, defacement and historical contextualization.

Legislation in the House and the Senate would protect monuments of war from not just defacement and removal but attempts to offer historical context.

The “Historical Monuments and Memorials Protection Act” (HB 1607) was filed in the House by Rep. Dean Black, a Jacksonville Republican. It is the House companion to SB 1096, filed last month by Sen. Jonathan Martin, a Republican from Fort Myers.

“We must defend and learn from our history,” Black told Florida Politics Tuesday. This includes protecting historic monuments across the state of Florida. I’m proud to introduce this important bill in the Legislature and look forward to finally canceling ‘cancel’ culture!”

The legislation would seemingly stifle controversies about confederate monuments, such as the one in Jacksonville, that have percolated for years.

The bill would encompass historical depictions represented in the form of a “plaque, statue, marker, flag, banner, cenotaph, religious symbol, painting, seal, tombstone, structure name, or display constructed and located with the intent of being permanently displayed or perpetually maintained,” honoring military or public service, “past or present,” with no exceptions contemplated.

Monuments could not be removed, and plaques and signs attempting to put those constructions in historical context would only be permissible if Secretary of State Cord Byrd signs off. Those who remove or damage monuments would pay treble the cost to restore and move them back, with “punitive damages” also possible.

Public entities owning the monuments, legal residents of the state, and “historical preservation” groups would stand for civil action under this bill.

The bill does allow for moving monuments “for construction, expansion, or alteration of publicly owned buildings, roads, streets, highways, or other transportation projects.” When such a movement happens, the structures must be “relocated to a site of similar prominence, honor, visibility, and access within the same county or municipality in which the monument or memorial was originally located.”

The bill would take effect July 1, if signed.

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


21 comments

  • A.E.R.

    March 7, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    Racists must cling to their epitaphs to remind themselves how badly they lost a civil war. A war that they started in order to preserve their right to own, buy, and sell other human beings as property.

    They’re still crying over their loss nearly 160 years later. Those racists should have been severely punished (hanged as the traitors they were) then maybe we wouldn’t be in this neo-Nazi, alt-Reich bizarro land we’re in now.

    I’m speaking as an American. I’m sorry that our country’s history of abject racism has spread to other countries.

    • Mary

      March 10, 2023 at 1:41 pm

      Here is a history lesson to those who malign the South. 1. You will not see an image of a slave ship flying a Confederate flag. 2. John Winthrop in Massachusetts Bay Colony was the first colony to legalize slavery in 1641. 3. The first slave ship, Desire, was built in Marblehead, Massachusetts 4. Secession was not treason 5. For those who demean Southerners, please stay out of the South. We are better off without you, too.

      • Dr. Franklin Waters

        March 10, 2023 at 4:22 pm

        Secession was very much treason, and the entire reason for it was to preserve slavery.

        The Confederacy only lasted for 4 years as well. So no, you people shouting about it being your “Heritage” are liars. It’s pure BS and we see through it.

        If you’re defending the Confederacy, the Confederate Flag or any of that you are despicable racist, and horrible American.

        Full Stop. You can’t be a Patriotic American and Confederate Sympathizer. There is no such thing.

      • Bwj

        March 10, 2023 at 5:00 pm

        Secession was treason. Many of these monuments weren’t put up until the Twentieth Century. Massachusetts may have built the first slave ship, but the abolitionist movement took root there. It was, after all, the birthplace of liberty and not Secession.

      • Illurion

        March 17, 2023 at 5:45 pm

        If you let them destroy your history,

        they destroy your identity.

        If they destroy your identity,

        then they can give you whichever identity they choose.

        It’s all about having power over you.

        A new war-between-the-states is coming if this doesn’t stop.

        I predict this time the South will win, on behalf of all TRUE Americans everywhere.

  • unsaved heathen

    March 8, 2023 at 10:27 am

    We must keep and venerate our history by keeping and venerating monuments to mass treason? But teaching the history of the Atlantic Slave Trade and the true toll prejudice and racism has taken on our society is somehow wrong and must be stopped.

    The men who fought for the Confederacy were traitors to the United States. By making war on the US, many broke the oaths they swore before God when they received commissions in the US Army. These monuments to treason should never have been allowed.

    I agree with A.E.R. above. Had we hanged every man above the rank of sergeant who bore arms for the Confederacy, this country would be in a far better place.

  • Elliott Offen

    March 8, 2023 at 11:24 am

    We have history books. We don’t need these things. Put up some monuments that everyone can be proud of… not just failed southern people. The south is a hell hole for a reason. Let’s not celebrate our own non-advancement and stupidity. Let’s change things.

  • Raul Ricardo Dick

    March 8, 2023 at 11:57 am

    Something is rotten in the State of Florida

    How can we commemorate treason, hate, racism, and civil war?

    There is no honor in this.

    There is no pride to be remembered…

  • cassandra

    March 8, 2023 at 12:08 pm

    “plaque, statue, marker, flag, banner, cenotaph, religious symbol, painting, seal, tombstone, structure name, or display…”

    Sure, go ahead and protect your graven-image treason dolls; but Floridians demand equal treatment. Many want to see the ANTIFA FLAG hanging. I’m okay with that; who doesn’t want to stomp the crap out of fascists, right? Malcolm X cenotaph? Okay with me.

    I would really love to see a religious symbol erected on the lawn by ‘The Satanic Temple’ (TST). Their Seven Fundamental Tenets carved in stone would be a wonderful statement of what true Freedom means and would address the government’s infringement on First Amendment Religious Rights.

    The banning of “historical contextualization”, though, is an unacceptable infringement on Freedom of Speech.

  • Rob Desantos

    March 8, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    Florida GOP is pro-racism and pro-slavery

  • Leonard

    March 9, 2023 at 7:25 am

    The vast majority of Americans are tired of this childish game. Let’s stop pretending this fight is about confederate monuments. The marxist behind efforts to erase our history are going after ALL of our history…they have gone after George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and many more. Enough. The people that love this country have had enough.

    • JAlaska

      March 12, 2023 at 9:10 pm

      I see fox newz and your beloved orange jesus taught you to just say it and it will become fact. The “majority’” of Americans is false. The people I know (feel free to call us educated elite) are tired of the childishness of immature bullying culture wars-congratulations on being a bunch of 3rd graders. Waaaah give me my ability to honor dishonorable people. Meanwhile how’s that homeowners insurance and energy costs working for you. Anyone loving their rent increases?! Oh I forgot those are some guy named Brandon’s fault. 3rd graders.

  • Jack Bovee

    March 9, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Unfortunately, WOKE college professors and BLM activists have totally distorted history. It’s a FACT R.E. Lee freed his family’s slaves before U.S. Grant and he even paid for them to be educated and returned to Liberia if they wished. Thomas Sowell reminds us “more whites were enslaved by Africans than the total number of Africans brought to the U.S. as slaves. For more, go here: https://complainingcurmudgeons.blogspot.com/2022/12/test_11.html. Africans in Jamestown in 1619 got FREEDOM, not slavery. They fared much, much better than the 100 orphans brought in from London. By the 1625 Jamestown census 88% of the white youths were dead, while 88% of the Africans were still alive. Here’s another set of facts with sources for liberal “historical illiterates” who know nothing of global slavery from 1400 to 1815: https://complainingcurmudgeons.blogspot.com/2022/11/ .
    The bill is designed to stop violent mobs of illiterate Antifa youth from destroying private property!!

    • JAlaska

      March 12, 2023 at 9:04 pm

      “It’s a fact.” Eye roll. Fact, the south was and remains overwhelmingly racist. When I lived in Germany there were no nazi statues honoring those who “stood up for national interests” or other nonsense excuses. It’s becoming hilarious (as in you look so foolish) watching all this “woke” this and “woke” that. And you fall for it time and time again! Sad. Laughable. But sad.

  • Seber Newsome III

    March 9, 2023 at 9:46 pm

    Thank you Dean Black, God Bless You. I will support you. Let history stand. I have said for years, to put up monuments, statues, to famous black men and women in Jacksonville, but no one would listen. This bill needs to pass. All history needs to stand. The Unity project, which Blake Harper is in charge of says, just this, lets tell all the history and add to it.

    • cassandra

      March 9, 2023 at 11:35 pm

      Only if we all get to pick a couple. A few out of the many that I want (in all seriousness):

      Toni Morrison & bell hooks statues, ANTIFA flag, Animal Rights banner, ‘The Satanic Temple’ religious image of ‘The Seven Fundamental Tenets’ and a matching plaque embossed with their ‘Religious Reproductive Rights’ seal.

      You put up mine; I won’t tear down yours..

  • Sean Smith

    March 9, 2023 at 10:35 pm

    Now we need a law deporting Marxists and Bolsheviks.

  • Ian

    March 10, 2023 at 9:47 am

    There’s not enough angry old white guys to elect you fool and most of them there are prefer Trump to you poser.

  • JAlaska

    March 12, 2023 at 8:59 pm

    Wanna learn from history, one you are trying oh so hard to repeat, read about 1930’s Germany.

  • Wayne Smith

    March 12, 2023 at 9:34 pm

    The ones crying about protecting American history were the ones lighting the match during the summer of 2020.

  • Illurion

    March 16, 2023 at 9:40 pm

    So anti-Southern.
    So un-informed.
    So arbitrary, and leftist partisan.

    …………………………….

    ALL PEOPLE, OF ALL TIMES, OF ALL NATIONS, LIVE THEIR LIVES “IN THEIR TIME.”

    and they “LOST THE LIVES OF THE SONS THEY LOVED , “IN THEIR TIME”.

    and they “PUT ALL OF THEIR LOVE, AND HEART, AND SOUL”, into building MONUMENTS dedicated TO THE MEMORY OF THEIR SONS, and to SHOW THEIR LOVE for the people “OF THEIR TIME” who died.

    WE OF THE FUTURE, “HAVE NO RIGHT” TO DESTROY THESE “LOVE LETTERS OF THE PAST.”

    IF THIS MONUMENT DESTRUCTION DOESN’T STOP, A BACKLASH WILL OCCUR.

    In life, everything goes in CYCLES… up and down, and up , and down , and up, and down, over time.

    MONUMENTS ARE DESIGNED TO BE IMMUNE TO THAT………..

    MONUMENTS TO THE DEAD ARE “NOT POLITICAL”.

    THEY ARE “LOVE LETTERS” ACROSS TIME………..

    As part of the coming backlash, imagine how all the black people are going to feel when Martin Luther King’s name is removed from all of the buildings, and roads, named after him, and all of his statues destroyed.

    That is inevitable if this monument destruction continues.

    This NEW LAW THAT IS BEING CONSIDERED IN THE FLORIDA HOUSE AND SENATE WILL “NOT JUST PROTECT CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS”, IT WILL PROTECT “REVOLUTIONARY MONUMENTS, AND YES, EVEN MARTIN LUTHER KING MONUMENTS.”

    THIS NEW LAW WILL TRULY BE “NON-PARTISAN”..
    IT PROTECTS “EVERYONES” HISTORY………

    so the VICTORS of the future, cannot DESTROY AND CHANGE THE HISTORY OF THE PAST.

    This new law is all about TRUTH.

Comments are closed.


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