Confederate flag now flies where Robert E. Lee bust once sat

Reporter: Breana Ross Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News

A confederate flag is now flying in the downtown Fort Myers spot where that the Robert. E. Lee bust once occupied. That bust was at the center of a massive debate for years.

WINK News is still trying to determine how long the flag has been there. But reporter Breana Ross saw the flag while she was out working on a Black History Month story.

This is not a confederate flag many have seen before, but it is one of the confederacy’s original flags.

Lee County NAACP President James Muwakkil says he noticed the flag and a wreath a few weeks ago and asked The City of Fort Myers to remove the flag on Tuesday.

Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson says the flag and wreath are code violations. The City’s legal team will talk about what action to take. “It’s not the content of the violation, but it’s whether or not it is a violation. And if it is deemed to be a violation of code, then we need to correct it,” said Mayor Anderson.

Fort Myers City Councilman Johnny Streets is upset knowing that someone put these emblems here after the tedious fight to get the Robert E. Lee bust and its pedestal removed. “It’s childish. This is not going to bring any healing,” Streets said.

“This is not going to bring any togetherness. It only creates division, and this is not what America is all about. We can move forward together,” said Streets.

Mayor Anderson is unsure when the City will be able to do something about the flag.

And, those who patronize downtown Fort Myers businesses were saddened and upset by the flag and wreathe here.

This is what is known as the First National Confederate Flag and a wreath. People in Fort Myers say the flag is a symbol of hate that simply changed faces from the bust that used to be here.

Jeffrey Fortney is an Assistant Professor of history at FGCU. “This was the flag that was first ratified as the Confederate national flag,” said Fortney.

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