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Brevard County library to keep Confederate display

County's decision comes after NAACP opposes Confederate display at library

A Confederate display at a Brevard library sparks controversy.
A Confederate display at a Brevard library sparks controversy. (Florida Today)

COCOA, Fla. – The Brevard County Board of Commissioners decided on Tuesday that the library rules on showing an annual Confederate-focused Civil War display at the main library in Cocoa will not be changed.

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The Central Brevard County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People filed a citizens' request to the Brevard County Commission, in which the NAACP indicates opposition to the annual display by a unit of the Confederate Sons Association of Florida.

"We can sit down and we can talk about it, and I think that we can iron out things and we can make improvements," said Willie Smith, who filed the complaint with the county.

Mitch Morgan, with the Confederate Sons Association of Florida, says he can understand part of Smith's argument, but he refuses to see the confederate flag as a symbol of racism.

"People take symbols and they perceive lots of different things," Morgan told Local 6. "This flag was taken up by the group known as the Ku Klux Klan. That's not any of us, and it was abused."

For at least the last several years, the Confederate Sons Association of Florida Indian River Camp 47 has installed a display of items relating to the Civil War in Florida during April at the Central Brevard Library and Reference Center in Cocoa.

Even though commissioners decided not to change the library rules, Morgan and Smith exchanged business cards and shook hands.  They promised to meet soon to see if they can see some common ground on the display.

The defenders of the display said removing the exhibit would be a violation of free speech.


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