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Arkansas House votes to end 'Confederate Flag Day'

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — On Thursday April 15, the Arkansas House approved a proposal to rid the state of a day that commemorates the Confederate flag.

The majority-Republican House voted 80-7 for legislation that repeals the state holiday. Now, the bill heads to the Senate for consideration.

The bill replaces Confederate Flag Day with “Arkansas Day.” Arkansas Day is intended to reflect on the state’s “rich history, national treasures, diverse cultures, unmatched hospitality, shared spirit, and human resilience,” according to Associated Press.

Background

In 1861, eleven southern states seceded from the U.S. to protect the institution of slavery, forming the Confederate States of America. The Confederacy used a variety of flags, but the one that is most recognized today is known as the “battle flag.”

In Arkansas, Confederate Flag Day was enacted in response to the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Since then, the day has been recognized annually by the state each Saturday before Easter Sunday.

To some, the Confederate flag might mean “Southern pride.” But to others, it is a symbol of white supremacy.

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