FLORIDA: Voters to Decide if Confederate Flag Flies

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. – There is controversy at the pole but, this time, quite literally. On this upcoming ballot, Walton County residents will be asked about flying a certain flag.

The Confederate flag outside the Walton County Commission building. (Tom Urban/News Service of Florida)

On Tuesday it will be up to the voters to settle the debate and determine if the confederate flag will fly outside this courthouse.

“I’ll say this, voters are passionate on both sides. And, it doesn’t follow along party lines,” shared Louis Svehla, Walton County Public Information Manager.

Walton County Commissioners thought this battle had ended back in July of 2015.

“At that point, the flag that was being flown, was still the Tennessee Virginia battle flag,” said Svehla.

After much debate, a compromise was reached and a new flag was flown. The first flag of the Confederacy, commonly known as, the Stars and Bars flag was put in it’s place.

“About a year ago, it was brought back up about taking that flag down. There was a lot of debate on both sides,” Svehla told us. “There was a lot of debate with the board on how they should handle this.”

So, the Walton Commissioners decided it was best to offer a referendum on the November ballot; letting the citizens decided once and for all.

“So, it’s really gone to the voters to decided whether or not they believe or do not believe if a flag of the Confederacy, ANY flag of the confederacy should fly over this memorial on the grounds,” explained Svehla.

The vote will be decided by a simple majority vote. Walton County voters have until the end of November 6th to cast their vote.