OCALA — A new Confederate flag is now up at the McPherson Governmental Complex in Marion County after a man was seen carrying the original flag off.
A young man claiming to be from the local historical society brought a new flag to the “Nations” flag display at the complex in Ocala, took down one of the other flags and replaced it Confederate flag.
Earlier today a man was seen carried the flag and pole to the front door of the government building and left it there.
The man, who refused to give his name, claimed the flag fell down.
A short while later, a city worker took the flag with the pole and drove away indicating it was for “safe keeping.”
The banner was part of a five-flag display of “nations” flags that have flown over Florida. The flag was actually a national flag of the Confederate States of America, not the battle flag that was permanently removed in South Carolina on Friday. The flags of Spain, France and Great Britain also fly in the display, along with the American flag.
The decision to keep a Confederate flag at the Marion County government facility sparked a protest of by people for and against the flag.
About three dozen people showed up in front of the Marion County Government Complex in Ocala Saturday morning.
“I’m happy that it’s down, I didn’t have anything to do with it being taken down, but I’m happy that it’s down,” said Denise Wilson, anti-Confederate Flag protest organizer.
“It’s wrong, It’s American history. it’s not about hate. Everyone keeps saying its racist, it’s not racist,” said John Delano, Confederate flag supporter.
Things got heated as protestors clashed with a few supporters of the Confederate flag.
On Tuesday, the Marion County Commission voted unanimously to again fly the Confederate flag in front of a government building, weeks after it had been taken down.
The interim county administrator had removed the flag at the McPherson Governmental Complex in Ocala, joining other communities across the South and nationwide that took down or reconsidered Confederate symbols after the June 17 killing of nine black people at a Charleston, South Carolina, church. A white man who appeared in photos waving Confederate flags is charged.