After violent white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend prompted a national conversation about public symbols of the Confederacy, law enforcement in charge of the Florida Capitol took preventative steps to watch over one very prominent symbol right in downtown Tallahassee.
A monument honoring slain Confederate soldiers — described as a “Civil War marble obelisk” by the state Department of Management Services, which oversees the Capitol Complex — sits in a lawn in front of the Old Capitol along Monroe Street, a main thoroughfare in Florida's capital city.
Wednesday afternoon, an unmanned patrol car was parked on the public sidewalk near the monument, which isn't a common sight.
FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger told the Herald/Times that Capitol Police made the decision as a deterrent “to prevent vandalism” in the wake of “a national event.”
The monument is easy to overlook as one associated with the Confederacy because it does not specifically reference it.
It reads: “To rescue from oblivion and perpetuate in the memory of succeeding generations the heroic patriotism of the men of Leon County who perished in the Civil War of 1861-1865, this monument is raised by their country women.”
Florida fought on the side of the Confederacy after state leaders voted to secede from the Union in January 1861.
Photo credit: Kristen M. Clark / Herald/Times