Florida Votes To Remove Its Confederate Statue From The U.S. Capitol

Florida legislators approved of a measure to remove a statue of a Floridian Confederate general from the U.S. Capitol, the Miami New Times reported. The Florida House passed the measure 83 to 32 Wednesday, after the state Senate passed it in a 33-to-7 vote last month.

The measure heads to Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s desk for his signature, but had been passed with veto-proof majorities in both chambers, the New Times said.

The statue is of Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, and it sits in the National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol, where each state can chose two citizens to honor in statue form. Smith was born in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1824 and joined the Confederate forces in 1861, according to the Architect of the Capitol website. Florida donated the statue of him to the U.S. Capitol in 1922.

According to the AP, the bill Florida legislators just passed will require the Great Floridians Committee to suggest three possible Floridians for a statue to replace Smith’s in Statuary Hall.

Last summer, national Democratic lawmakers challenged Republicans to remove the Confederate symbols from the Capitol, which came under scrutiny after nine African-Americans were shot and killed in a black church in South Carolina.

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