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Many States Still Celebrate Confederate Holidays

Holidays celebrating confederate "heroes" are still celebrated in 10 states in the US. Here's why those celebrations need to end.
Many States Still Celebrate Confederate Holidays
Body First

We are living in an era of change right now. Many organizations and governments are finally recognizing the harmful nature of confederate monuments and memorials and are starting to remove them. One thing that seems to have escaped scrutiny so far, however, is the sheer number of confederate holidays celebrated in America. Some of these holidays are barely acknowledged by the states they are celebrated in, while others are well-known bank holidays. Either way, this is exactly the kind of underlying issue that keeps racism woven into the fabric of our nation. As long as state governments keep official holidays that celebrate racist ideals, we will know that those underlying issues have not been addressed.

Here at HolidaySmart we believe in having the most accurate information about holidays around the world. However, we do not list holidays that are based around celebrating the confederacy because such holidays do not align with our values. Celebrating the confederacy erases history, disrespects black Americans, and is fundamentally un-American. You cannot claim to be proud of your country while also idolizing an organization that fought against it. And if you’re still not sure why confederate memorials are offensive to many people in this country, now is the time to take a step away from your convictions and listen. When someone comes to you with their pain, take the time to listen to what they’re saying instead of getting defensive.

What we choose to celebrate says a lot about who we are. We should choose holidays that bring joy into the world, things that represent progress and achievement. It's time to stop celebrating these relics of a bygone past that represent pain to so many people if we want to move forward as a united nation.

Instead of listing holidays that represent racism on our calendar, we are dedicated to striking these holidays from every calendar. Find your state below to see if it still celebrates some of these holidays. If it does, contact your local leaders and implore them to end confederate celebrations.

 

Alabama

Robert E. Lee's Birthday - Celebrated on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

Confederate Memorial Day - Celebrated on the fourth Monday in April

Jefferson Davis' Birthday - Celebrated on the first Monday in June.

A bill was introduced in 2019 by State Rep. John Rogers to attempt to separate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Robert E. Lee’s Birthday. It failed to pass. Sign this petition to help end the combined holiday in Alabama in Mississippi.

 

Arkansas

Robert E. Lee Day - Arkansas celebrated Robert E. Lee day along with Martin Luther King Jr. Day starting in 1985, but the practice was ended in 2017. The official bill states that Robert E. Lee Day would be moved to October, but the holiday was never added to Arkansas’s list of official holidays.

 

Florida

Robert E Lee’s Birthday - Celebrated January 19th

Confederate Heroes' Day - Celebrated on the 4th Monday in April

Jefferson Davis' Birthday - Celebrated on June 3rd

None of these holidays are actively celebrated in Florida. Employers do not give the day off and most people are not even aware that they are happening, yet the state of Florida still recognizes them as holidays.

 

Kentucky

Robert E. Lee Day - Celebrated on January 19th

Confederate Memorial Day and Jefferson Davis Day - Celebrated on June 3rd

These holidays are not widely celebrated, but they are still listed on the official list of Kentucky holidays. Earlier this year, some politicians moved to remove these holidays from the books, but there has been no recent updates on those attempts.

 

Louisiana

Robert E Lee Day - Celebrated on January 19th

Confederate Memorial Day - Celebrated on June 3rd

Very little is available online about these holidays, so they seem to not be celebrated at all, but they are still listed as official state holidays.

 

Mississippi

Robert E. Lee's Birthday - Celebrated on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Confederate Memorial Day - Celebrated on the last Monday in April

Jefferson Davis' Birthday - Celebrated on Memorial Day

Confederate Heritage Month - Many states have proclaimed April to be Confederate Heritage/History Month in past years, but Mississippi is the only state to have done it this year, literally 2 months ago

No effort has been made in Mississippi to separate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Robert E. Lee Day and the joint holiday was proclaimed by the governor just last year, giving Lee the first billing in the proclamation. You can sign this petition to end the combined holiday in Alabama in Mississippi. The city of Biloxi referred to the holiday as “Great American’s Day” in 2017.

 

North Carolina

Robert E. Lee’s Birthday - Celebrated on January 19th

Confederate Memorial Day - Celebrated on May 10th

North Carolina does not actively celebrate these holidays in any way, but they are still listed as holidays in the state.

 

South Carolina

Confederate Memorial Day - Celebrated on May 10th

This holiday is not actively celebrated in the whole state, but many South Carolina counties do close to celebrate it.

 

Tennessee

Robert E. Lee Day - Celebrated on January 19th

Confederate Decoration Day - Celebrated on June 3rd

Nathan Bedford Forrest Day - Celebrated on July 13th 

Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader. Despite a recent push to have the holiday removed, Republicans voted to keep the date on the calendar.

 

Texas

Confederate Heroes' Day - Celebrated on January 19th 

Many people get this day off work in Texas. In 2019, some leaders pushed to have the holiday removed, but the bill was left pending.

 

Several states, including Georgia and Virginia, have already joined the 21st century and eliminated their confederate holidays. Let’s put pressure on the rest of the states to join them.

 

 

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Many States Still Celebrate Confederate Holidays