Father concerned after son sees noose under Confederate flag

Dad says 9-year-old saw display on Middleburg man's property

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – A Clay County father is speaking out after seeing a noose draped over a "no trespassing" sign and under a Confederate flag.

William Doughty and his 9-year-old son spotted the noose while driving on a road in Middleburg.

"I was driving down the road and my son said, 'Daddy, do you see that hanging on the fence?'" Doughty said.


Doughty said he and his son had just taken a trip to the Old Jail in St. Augustine where they said they saw nooses, but was shocked to see it on someone's property facing the road, near a school bus stop.

 "When I first saw it, I was like are you kidding me," said Doughty. "The Confederate flag, a hangman's noose, the 'no trespassing' sign, that's obviously somebody wanting attention and putting hate out there, and I don't want violence coming to Clay County."

News4Jax spoke to a man who said he is renting the property. He told us he didn't want to go on camera, but admits he did hang the noose "as a joke" and that he didn't mean anything racial by putting it up. The noose was later taken down Thursday.

"That's not a joking matter," Doughty said.

The Clay County father said he is trying to figure out a way to explain this to his 9-year-son who now has questions.

There is no law against hanging a noose in Florida.

The Florida Legislature considered a bill in the 2010 session that would have prohibited people from placing a noose in a public place, on property of another person without first obtaining written permission of the owner or occupier of property, or in an exhibit of any kind with intention of intimidating another person. The bill died in a committee.

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