Senate Rules Committee Backs Senate Leader’s Request To Remove Confederate Flag From Senate Seal
By Michelle DeMarco // October 9, 2015
recommendation next moves to full Senate for vote
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – In a vote hailed as both historical and healing, the Senate Rules Committee on Thursday unanimously agreed to recommend the removal of the Confederate flag from the official Senate Seal.
The move followed a request in June from Senate Democratic Leader Arthenia Joyner (D-Tampa) to Rules Chairman David Simmons (R- Altamonte Springs) that the divisive symbol be struck from the Upper Chamber’s logo.
Senate President Andy Gardiner, noting that the Seal dated to 1973 and the many changes Florida has undergone since then, formally requested that the committee take up the issue and make recommendations for full Senate action.
“The recommendation to remove the Confederate flag from our seal will never erase a painful period in Florida’s history, nor the blood recently spilled in a South Carolina church in its name,” said Leader Joyner.
“But the unified voices ratifying this action gives us hope for healing these wounds once and for all. And, as we look forward to the full Senate’s endorsement, a powerful symbol that we stand together as one.”
The Confederate banner is one of five flags contained in the Senate Seal, alongside those of the United States, Great Britain, France and Spain – all which have flown over the state throughout its history.
Under Senate Rules, two-thirds of the sitting membership must approve the recommendation to change the official seal. That vote is expected to come as the 2016 legislative session convenes in January.