The push by a Miami Beach woman to replace Florida’s statue of a Confederate general with one of Marjory Stoneman Douglas won support last week from the Miami-Dade Commission for Women.
The commission voted unanimously on Wednesday to help Lynette Long ask Florida legislators to sponsor a bill to replace the statue of Edmund Kirby Smith, who surrendered the last military force of the Confederacy, with one of the champion of the Everglades. Smith’s bronze figure has stood in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall Collection since 1922, where each state is allowed two representatives.
Florida’s other place of honor belongs to John Gorrie, the inventor of air conditioning.
Long has worked for years to see women’s contributions better represented in the nation’s symbols. Her push to replace the statue comes as the U.S. has announced it will feature a woman’s face on the $10 bill and after South Carolina took down the Confederate flag from the state Capitol in the wake of the race-related slaughter of nine people in Charleston.
Last month, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Tampa Democrat, called on Florida to replace Smith’s statue, calling it troubling “that one of Florida’s statues is an obscure Confederate war general."