TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Floridians will commemorate 21 state holidays and special observances this year.
The state celebrated civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday. The next holiday on the calendar is on the opposite end of the political spectrum.
The 2022 Florida Statutes recognizes Thursday Jan. 19, the birthday of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, as a state holiday.
It’s one of three Confederate holidays celebrated in the state each year, along with Confederate Memorial Day on April 26, and the birthday of Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States of America, on June 3.
It is also illegal in Florida to mutilate or disrespect Confederate flags or replicas, according to state statutes.
There have been numerous legislative attempts to wipe the holidays off the state observance schedule with no avail. There have been three attempts to do so since 2018.
- HB 277: Legal Holidays (2018)
- SB 1116: Removing Memorializations of the Confederate States of America (2021)
- SB 250: Removing Memorializations of the Confederate States of America (2022)
So far, no legislation has been proposed to remove the holidays from the calendar in the 2023 legislative session.