The original Confederate flag is flying again at the McPherson Governmental Complex in Marion County after a protestor was seen carrying it off Saturday morning.
Early Saturday morning a man carried the flag and pole to the front door of the government building and left it there. The man, who refused to give his name, claimed the flag fell down.
A short while later, a city worker took the flag with the pole and drove away indicating it was for "safe keeping."
A couple of hours after that, Quinn Baudouin, claiming to have the Marion County Historical commission's authority and believing the flag was brought down maliciously, brought down the French Flag from the "Nations" flag display at the complex and replaced it with a confederate flag he had at home. He then moved the entire pole to where the confederate flag was originally standing.
The banner was part of a five-flag display of "nations" flags that have flown over Florida. The flag was actually a national flag of the Confederate States of America, not the battle flag that was permanently removed in South Carolina on Friday. The flags of Spain, France and Great Britain also fly in the display, along with the American flag.
Around 6 p.m. a city employee removed the French flag and put the original Confederate flag back up.
The decision to keep a Confederate flag at the Marion County government facility sparked a protest by people for and against the flag.
About three dozen people showed up in front of the Marion County Government Complex in Ocala Saturday morning.
"I'm happy that it's down, I didn't have anything to do with it being taken down, but I'm happy that it's down," said Denise Wilson, anti-Confederate Flag protest organizer.
"It's wrong, It's American history. it's not about hate. Everyone keeps saying its racist, it's not racist," said John Delano, Confederate flag supporter.
Things got heated as protestors clashed with a few supporters of the Confederate flag.
- July 2: Marion County takes down Confederate flag
- July 9: Confederate flag flies again in Marion County
- July 10: Marion Confederate flag sparks weekend protest, rally
On Tuesday, the Marion County Commission voted unanimously to again fly the Confederate flag in front of a government building, weeks after it had been taken down.
The interim county administrator had removed the flag at the McPherson Governmental Complex in Ocala, joining other communities across the South and nationwide that took down or reconsidered Confederate symbols after the June 17 killing of nine black people at a Charleston, South Carolina, church. A white man who appeared in photos waving Confederate flags is charged.