AUSTIN (KXAN) — De-Confederate Austin and supporters appeared at the Texas House Committee on State Affairs meeting Wednesday morning to encourage members to vote for a House bill that would abolish Confederate Heroes Day in Texas.
House Bill 1183, written by Rep. Jarvis Johnson, D-Houston, would end the observation of “Confederate Heroes Day,” each January 19. The day was established in 1931 in an effort to honor Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and other Confederate officials.
Confederate monument supporters say it’s important to honor Texas leaders of the past and celebrate culture, while opponents say it isn’t a culture worth honoring due to its ties to slavery.
In a release from De-Confederate Austin, the group says:
“A hero is one who shows exemplary ingenuity, decisveness or endurance on behalf of something good. As the Confederate cause was far from good, a ‘Confederate hero’ is a contradiction in terms.”
The group, which says it is dedicated to the removal of every monument to the Confederacy, also notes that the day sometimes falls on Martin Luther King Jr Day.
Confederate Heroes Day previously came under fire in 2015, when then-eighth grade Austinite Jacob Hale made news for his public push and testimony before lawmakers backing Austin Democratic Representative Donna Howard’s bill that would have moved the day to May under a new name: Civil War Remembrance Day.
House Bill 1183 comes after several recent Austin-area pushes to remove monuments to the Confederacy. Earlier this month, a group known as the Wilco Patriots began a petition to take down a Confederate statue that sits in front of the old Williamson County courthouse in Georgetown. Back in January, the Texas State Preservation Board voted to remove a “Children of the Confederacy Creed” plaque from the State Capitol.