New bill aims to remove confederate holidays in Florida


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPS NEWS) – Florida recognizes 18 holidays. Not all of them are celebrated, or get you the day off.

They range from the usual holidays, to the birthdays of Susan B, Anthony and  Martin Luther King.

Three celebrate the confederacy, but legislation has been filed to eliminate them.

Florida is one of five states that still recognizes General Robert E Lee’s birthday, Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ birthday, and Confederate Memorial Day.

State Senator Lauren Book is for the second time, filing legislation to strip the holidays from state statutes.

“With all of the hate and divisiveness we see today, it’s more important than ever to condemn racism,” said Book.

Confederate supporters came out in droves in 2018 when Book first filed the bill. However, it passed just one of three committees and never came up again.

“I hear from across the state. People say they are infuriated and are going to want to go to Tallahassee,” said David McAllister with the Sons of the Confederacy.

As many as 15,000 from Florida served in the Confederate Army, an estimated 4,000 died.

McAllister said one in six Floridians have an ancestor who fought in the civil war.

State Senator Dennis Baxley’s great, great, great grandfather fought for the confederacy.

“I always have a bit of pain in my heart when I realize people don’t want to respect each other’s history. The good, the bad, and the ugly,” said Baxley.

In addition to erasing the holidays from law books, the legislation also removes penalties for defacing the confederate flag.

“Why would we have particular protects for the Confederate flag? We shouldn’t stand for that in our state,” said Book.

Confederate supporters say its adding insult to injury.

“It’s so controversial, it’s going to take up a lot of time that could be put to better use,” said McAllister.

Because of COVID restrictions, the number of those who want to speak for or against the legislation will be limited, but it is not likely to curb anyone’s enthusiasm.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

April 24 2021 08:00 am

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