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06/23/15: Confederate Flag; Celebrating St. Augustine's Spanish Heritage; Year Up Jacksonville

Amid growing criticism, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley on Monday called for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the state capitol. This follows the massacre of nine African American members of an historic congregation in Charleston last week. The confessed gunman, Dylann Roof, used the Confederate symbol to represent his white supremacist philosophy.

Almost exactly 150 years after the end of the Civil War, the Confederate battle flag has once again become a bitterly divisive symbol of the nation’s enduring struggle with the legacies of slavery and segregation. But it also remains an emblem of deep-seated cultural pride that many Southerners say transcends the ugly histories of the past. Here in Northeast Florida, the flag as a symbol evokes strong emotions. We discuss the history, symbolism and current perception of the Confederate flag with former Jacksonville City Councilman Matt Carlucci, George Young, with the local chapter of the NAACP; and David Nelson, with the local chapter of Sons of Confederate Veterans.

In our America's First City segment celebrating St. Augustine's 450th commemoration, Simply St. Augustine blogger Allie O. joins us with suggestions for experiencing the city's Spanish heritage.

We also speak with representatives from the Jacksonville chapter of Year Up, a national nonprofit program that partners with local business communities to meet their needs for skilled labor. The program accepts a limited number of students, 18 to 24, who have at least a high school GED and a desire to advance their skill set but without the resources to do so.

Sean Birch joined the WJCT team in late 2011 and was with the company until 2016.