We were in FL this past week and a newspaper there carried the story of how the Senate will remove the Confederate Flag from their seal. The original seal depicted all the flags that have flown over the land of FL in its history.
The removal comes at the request of Senate Democrat Sen. Arthenia Joyner.
The Seal contained flags of the nations that have at one time or another flown their flag over that land. Until now, the seal has shown French, Spanish, British, Confederate, and United States’ flags.
Three of my great grandfathers fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. A nephew of my great-grandfather, George Hughes, was killed during the war. My grandfather was named for him. His name was James Martin Culver. He was the son of Rhoda Hughes Culver.
The Civil War was very real and the suffering was great. It is a part of our history. The Confederacy did lose and their flag came down, but for a time it flew over the land we call Florida.
Also, long before the Civil War, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés arrived in what is now FL. It was in 1565 that he founded a Spanish military base at Saint Augustine. Later the Spanish slaughtered the French Huguenots, who had originally settled a part of the land. The Spanish and the French flags are on the seal because both flags once flew over the land as sovereign, just as the British flag and the Confederate flag did at one time. When one group conquers another, their flag comes down and another goes up. If you asked descendants of the Timucuan or the Seminole Indian Tribes, they just might say none of these flags should be on the seal.
It is my opinion that if the Senate Seal is to accurately reflect history, then it should contain all the flags. Rewriting history doesn’t actually change history, it just causes people to forget the true history of our nation. It doesn’t correct injustices. The blood stains remain.
The grave of James Martin Culver, along with thousands of other graves, remain in cemeteries throughout the south just as there are graves in northern cities. In the future, must their monuments also be removed?