June 22, 2015

THE ONE WHO'S GOVERNED:

How Jeb Bush dealt with the Confederate flag when he was Florida governor (Ed O'Keefe, June 22, 2015, Washington Post)

In early February 2001, Jeb Bush quietly ordered the removal from State Capitol grounds of "The Stainless Banner," a mostly white flag that featured the Confederate battle flag design in the top left corner.

The flag flew outside the west entrance of the Capitol in Tallahassee with three other flags memorializing the history of the Sunshine State. Bush had decided to remove the flags in December 2000 -- in the wake of a bitterly contested presidential campaign that featured both a primary season debate about the Confederate flag, and the protracted recount that resulted in his brother's election as president. Two months later, they were gone.

Before his decision, Bush had already telegraphed his opinions on the flag. In Jan. 2000, as national organizations began pressuring Southern states to remove the Confederate flag from public spaces and public property, a resident named Suzi Harper e-mailed: "What is your thoughts on this confederate flag issue?"

Bush responded: "I am happy that we don't have a confederate flag."

The flags came down quietly on a Saturday morning, and the decision went unnoticed for another eight days, until news reports spread the word. Within hours, Bush -- an avid e-mailer who urged Florida residents to write to him directly -- started receiving often-heated criticism in his inbox.

"You are not from the South," wrote Carole Shelton. 

Amen.

Posted by at June 22, 2015 5:02 PM
  

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