Florida Democrats used the hashtag #TakeItDown last week in a tweet about Marion County’s decision to fly the Confederate flag at the McPherson Governmental Complex.
The tweet, which came from the Florida Party’s official Twitter account on July 16, contained a picture of the flag above the complex , along with text reading, “RT (retweet) to tell them to take it down #TakeItDown!” It also included a link to a Palm Beach Post article chronicling the events.
Max Steele, press secretary for the Florida Democratic Party, said now is the time for the flag to be removed.
“The time has passed,” Steele said. “We’re one nation, one country.”
Following the church tragedy in Charleston, S.C., the flag had been temporarily removed in June. However, Marion County Commissioners voted on July 7, to put the flag back up.
Diane Perrine of Dunnellon, Fla., created a petition two days later, asking for the removal of the flag. In her petition, she said the government represents all of their citizens and if some don’t want the flag to be flown, then it should be removed.
Perrine’s petition currently has 124 signatures.
“We aren’t erasing history, it’s important to know our history, but this [flag] is not a symbol of the United States, and it’s not a symbol that belongs on government property,” Steele said.
The flag’s cultural significance has changed with society, he said. Now, it can’t be separated from a symbol of hate.
Steele said the Confederate flag is a divisive symbol, and feels President Obama was right when he said the flag belongs in a museum.
Melissa Seice, an Ocala resident, feels the flag represents “pride, culture and history.”
“My personal opinion is the flag is a part of history and if everyone is so worried about keeping history the way it should be, then why take away part of history,” Seice said.
For Seice and her family, the flag represents who they are and what they stand for.
Seice has no problem defending what she believes in and has posted on her Facebook page her disapproval regarding the removal of the Confederate flag.
“I’m not afraid to tell anybody,” Seice said. “That is what I represent, and I’m not afraid to defend that.”
The Marion County Commission is waiting to receive recommendations for the future location of the display and the proper course of action, according to a press release by Marion County Board of County Commissioners.