Confederate Memorial Day

In this 2015 file photo, residents of Cullman County, Ala., gather on the courthouse steps to protest the county's decision to end local recognition of Confederate Memorial Day.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — As states and communities around the country have taken actions to remove symbols of the Confederacy, a few states still observe Confederate Memorial Day as a state holiday.  

Alabama is one of three states that celebrate the day as a paid state holiday, recognizing it on the fourth Monday of April each year.    

The holiday is said to honor those who died fighting for the Confederate states. 

Mississippi recognizes the paid state holiday day on the last Monday of April, while South Carolina acknowledges it as a paid state holiday on May 10 each year, though a proposal was bought forth this year to replace it with a floating state holiday.

In 2015, then-Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal changed the state’s Confederate Memorial Day, held the fourth Monday in April, to a generic “state holiday” for employees. The change was linked to white supremacist Dylann Roof's June 2015 killing of nine people at a Black church in Charleston, South Carolina.  

Efforts to end recognition of the holiday have been unsuccessful in other states:  

Tennessee: On June 3 each year, the state observes Confederate Decoration Day as a day of remembrance, reflection commemoration where historically, flowers are placed on graves of Confederate soldiers.  

Texas: "Confederate Heroes Day” is a partial holiday Jan. 19 each year for Texas state employees, allowing state employees to take a paid day off, though state offices still remain open. The holiday falls on Robert E. Lee's birthday, and is set to honor Lee, Jefferson Davis and other Confederate officers and soldiers.

Kentucky: Confederate Memorial Day is recognized June 3, the birth date of Jefferson Davis, whose namesake holiday is also June 3 in Kentucky.  

Louisiana: Efforts are underway by state legislators, attempting to do away with June 3 being recognized as Confederate Memorial Day in the state.  

North Carolina:  Though state offices remain open, North Caroline designates May 10 as Confederate Memorial Day.  

Florida: April 26 is recognized as Confederate Memorial Day, a public holiday though state agencies remain open.  

Last year, more than 70 Confederate memorials were removed from public spaces around the country, according to Southern Poverty Law Center. Opponents of Confederate symbols say the images and depictions commemorate slavery and racism against Black people.

“While some heritage groups and states consistently use this month to honor those who fought to preserve slavery, Americans across the country are taking action by rejecting revisionist history and removing Confederate memorials in all their inhumane forms,” said Lecia Brooks, chief of staff and culture for SPLC.  

Those who want to retain Confederate symbols they are needed to honor heritage and history, regardless of the sentiments of those who find the symbols offensive or reprehensible. 

"It is way past the time we Southerners get past the political correctness and intimidation by those who want to suppress our heritage," said Barry Cook, an affiliate of an Alabama chapter of Sons of Confederate Veterans, in a Facebook post. "Tell your legislators to leave the monuments and Southern remembrances in place. Leave our holidays in place." 

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