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Efforts to preserve a Confederate monument in a Madison park get dealt a blow from an appeals court

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A long-standing Confederate monument at a Madison, Florida park may soon come down after a three-judge panel of the First District Court of Appeal rejected a series of arguments challenging its removal.

According to the News Service of Florida, the monument was erected in 1909 to honor confederate soldiers.

The plaintiffs included eight people whose ancestors are commemorated on a plaque on the moment. They argued its removal would violate their free speech and freedom of expression rights.

The judges disagreed stating in their ruling "in reality, nothing prevents them from gathering, speaking and commemorating their ancestors at the park after the monument is gone."

The monument's creation came amid similar efforts across the South following both the end of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Such decisions coincided with the advent of Jim Crow laws designed to enforce racial segregation. Monuments bearing Confederate imagery and buildings named after members of the Confederacy have come down in recent years amid heightened awareness of ongoing racial discrimination and social injustices.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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