By CLIFF HIGHTOWER
Published: Jan 25, 2005
BROOKSVILLE – Brooksville city leaders have decided to look more closely at the city logo that shows two Confederate soldiers holding a Confederate battle flag.
But before discussion begins there is already dissent from several city residents, saying the logo is about heritage and not racism.
"It’s history," said Richard Lewis, a former city council member attending Monday night’s council meeting. "That’s all it is."
Councilman Frankie Burnett raised the issue during the final moments of the meeting under the citizen’s input section.
Burnett said he could understand the historical points within the logo, he did not feel it was inclusive for all citizens of Brooksville.
"The concern is the Confederate flag," Burnett said.
The current logo was adopted by the city in 1986 and shows an American flag on one side and the state flag of Florida on the other. At the top of the logo is an eagle and at the bottom of the logo are two busts of Hernando Desoto and a Seminole Indian. Underneath is the note, "Established in 1856."
In the middle of the city logo are renderings of the county courthouse, a map of the state of Florida and the Confederate soldiers carrying a "stars and bars" battle flag.
The logo replaced a tangerine when the areas was no longer known as "The Tangerine Capital of the World."
City leaders say the logo appears on city vehicles, city stationary but the most visible locations is on top a water tower in the city and a woodcarving in council chambers in the Brooksville City Hall.
In a memo to the council, City Manager Richard Anderson presented three alternate versions of the logo. One with two Confederate soldiers not carrying a flag, one with a Union soldier and a Confederate soldier not carrying a flag and the last version presented was a Union soldier and a Confederate soldier carrying a "generic" red flag.
But some members of the audience disagreed with including a Union soldier because there are no records of anyone from Hernando County that served in the Union.
"All we ask is you remove the Confederate flag," Burnett said.
Lewis was first to speak on the topic and said he felt the flag was important to the city. Lewis said he was not racist and he "did not see color," but he disagreed with councilman Burnett.
"He wants to remove the flag so that it suits part of the people, not all of the people…" Lewis said. "Whether you agree with me or not, it’s part of history."
Bishop Scriven told the council though he is a black American, he did not believe the logo flag was racial in nature. He thought the problem was a lack of communication.
"I don’t think it’s a racial problem, black or white, or a racial thing," Scrivens said. "I think it’s about people who don’t feel they belong."
At the end of the meeting, the council decided to appoint one person who would form a committee to explore whether the city logo should be changed.
As the council was about to adjourn, Burnett voiced his nomination.
"I nominate Bishop Scrivens," he said.
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