AUSTIN (KXAN) — Jan. 19th is known as Confederate Heroes Day in Texas, but a bill before lawmakers would move the date to May and change the name to Civil War Remembrance Day to also honor Union soldiers.
The House Committee on Culture, Recreation and Tourism was filled to the brim Tuesday, spurred on by eighth-grader Jacob Hale who did not like how Confederate Heroes Day fell on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“It seems like it’s more of a war of ideologies,” said Anthony Jones who goes to the same school as Hale. The eighth-grader inspired him to come testify for the change because Texans also fought for the Union and his generation has a far different outlook on the South’s role in slavery.
“When they see the flag, they usually associate it with slavery,” said Jones. “So when some may say it’s Southern pride, for some others it’s kind of a threat. It’s threatening.”
“Any kind of debate that stimulates conversation is good,” said Paul Martin, who is a descendant of a Confederate veteran. He says the holiday should stay to honor how former Confederate soldiers built up this state after such a devastating war.
“When you think of the men who built these cities, who these counties are named for, that these towns are named for, they’re confederate veterans mostly,” said Martin. “So I don’t think it’s right to lump them together.”
The bill was authored by Donna Howard, a Democratic state representative from Austin.