Florida House panel oks bill to remove Confederate statue

- Florida may replace the statue of a Confederate general now housed in Washington D.C.

A Florida House panel on Wednesday voted in favor of a bill calling for removal of the bronze statue of General Edmund Kirby Smith from the U.S. Capitol where every state is allowed to have two statues.

Miami Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz is sponsoring the bill (HB 141) that would start the process of selecting a sculptor and the name of a prominent Floridian citizen to replace Kirby. The Florida Legislature would be required to approve the replacement statue in 2017.

Diaz noted Smith's statue was approved in 1922. He said the state should "tell the tale of new Floridians." He mentioned Walt Disney, Henry Flagler and Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

The full Legislature may consider the bill next year.

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