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House votes to end 'Confederate Flag Day'

by The Associated Press | April 15, 2021 at 3:12 p.m.
Magnolia trees bloom around the Arkansas State Capitol building Thursday, March 18, 2021 in Little Rock.

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas House on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a proposal to end a day that commemorates the Confederate flag.

The majority-Republican House voted 80-7 for legislation that repeals Confederate Flag Day, which is designated as the Saturday before Easter. The bill now heads to the majority-Republican Senate.

The bill replaces Confederate Flag Day with "Arkansas Day," which it says is intended to reflect on the state's "rich history, national treasures, diverse cultures, unmatched hospitality, shared spirit, and human resilience."

The top Republican in the House, Rep. Austin McCollum, sponsored the measure and noted Confederate Flag Day was enacted in response to the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School in 1957.

The bill advanced two years after legislation stalled that would have changed the meaning of one of the stars on Arkansas' flag that represents the Confederacy. That proposal was rejected by a House committee.

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