Walton voters will decide whether to fly Confederate flag

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“We are elected to hear the people we serve. Putting it on the ballot is the only way.”

DEBORAH WHEELER @WaltonSunDeb

Walton County Commissioners voted in 2015 to keep the Confederate flag flying at the county courthouse.

However, the issue isn’t dead.

Walton County Democratic Party Chair Margie Jordan asked to have the issue placed on the Dec. 12 BCC agenda and requested the new Board vote to remove the flag.

“I was a business owner who lost business over that flag,” Jordan said. “Our executive committee voted unanimously to put the proposal to commissioners, that along with the black caucus and the black community, as well as a group of progressives and independents. We are asking you to vote today to remove all Confederate flags from county grounds.”

Commissioners heard from several more in the audience, who argued on both sides of the issue, before voting to place the decision in the hands of Walton County voters.

“This is an extremely emotional issue. I know there are people in the room in favor of taking it down and for keeping it up,” said District 5 Commissioner Tony Anderson. “I grew up in Walton County and I love it. I’m not sure of any other way to do this than to have a referendum on it. I think the referendum will show that the people of Walton County want this taken down.”

Anderson made the motion to put the flag issue on the General Election ballot for November 2018.

“I was not a member of the Commission when this was done in 2015. Any of you who think this is an easy decision is wrong. I haven’t slept for two days. I want to do this in fairness to all Walton County citizens,” he said.

District 2 Commissioner Cecilia Jones seconded Anderson’s motion.

District 4 Commissioner Sara Comander agreed.

“A referendum is the only way we will ever put this to bed and hear the will of all the people,” said Comander. “We are elected to hear the people we serve. Putting it on the ballot is the only way.”

The motion passed 3-2 with District 1 Commissioner Bill Chapman and District 3 Commissioner Melanie Nipper casting the nay votes.

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