Jacksonville City Council responds to the ‘put monuments back’ banner over TIAA Bank Field

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville City Council is responding to a banner that flew over TIAA Bank Field before the Jaguars game on Sunday. The banner had a Confederate flag and with the words “put monuments back” on it.

This brought back up a passionate debate in Jacksonville. The council had put off a study that would help determine what people in Jacksonville want to see happen. Some say it’s the lack of action that is the problem.

The group “Save Southern Heritage” claimed responsibility for the banner plane and message. The group is based out of Tampa and said in a statement, “This is a Thanksgiving gift to the people of these cities who are suffering under these cancel culture tyrants. We are letting the tyrannical government officials know that the people cannot be ignored.”

RELATED: Airplane flies Confederate flag over TIAA Bank Field with message about monuments | Removing Confederate statue from Springfield Park could cost at least $12 million

It’s the statue in Springfield Park that has been the center of contention. The city covered the Women of the Southern Confederacy monument. There were promises last year that it would be taken down, but nothing has happened. That’s why some say the city needs take action. City Councilman Matt Carlucci agrees.

“I think time for talk is over,” Carlucci said. “It’s time for action.”

Carlucci has been passionate about the issue, saying the city needs to make a move.

“I think this has become a very partisan issue, and it’s not a partisan issue,” Carlucci said. “It’s an issue about peace in our communities, about considering how other people feel when they see those monuments.”

Councilman Michael Boylan sees it differently.

“I think it’s time to get this behind us,” Boylan said. “And you know, I think I’ve been pretty clear in my position. I think putting the statues in context is the best way to go. I stand by that and by the recommendations of the work groups the mayor put together. So let’s go, let’s do it.”

Wells Todd of “Take ‘Em Down Jax” has been critical of the council’s lack of action. He says he’s been trying to talk to council leaders about this, but they are ignoring his concerns.

News4JAX reporter, Jim Piggott, asked Todd, “The fact that the council, it’s just sitting there, does that disturb you?” Todd answered, “Very much, very much. And as a matter of fact, we’re planning on asking to have a meeting with the President of the City Council.”

Piggott then asked, “Are you surprised that Terrance Freeman has not addressed this?” Todd answered, “No, I’m not. And I’m not surprised that he voted to keep the statues up.”

Piggott responded, “He’s an African American, I mean...?” Todd said, “Yeah, But you know, in our society, when you climb the ladder, it doesn’t really matter anymore.”

Jim Piggott reached out to City Council President Freeman to get a response, and to find out where he believes this matter should go. We will share his response once we get it.

We did get a statement from Northside Coalition President, Ben Frazier. It reads in part, “We need truth and unity to guide us past racial hatred and painful memories of the city’s history. Truth is the roadmap to healing and reconciliation. We cannot ignore the lynching, enslavement and the terror that monuments represent. We must move forward and not backwards!”

About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.