Arkansas House votes to end state’s ‘Confederate Flag Day’
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — 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 to abolish Confederate Flag Day, which is designated as the Saturday before Easter. The bill now heads to the majority-Republican Senate for a vote.
The bill replaces Confederate Flag Day with “Arkansas Day,” which it says is intended to reflect 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 1957 desegregation of Little Rock Central High School.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement the measure makes sense to him and he plans to sign it if it reaches his desk.
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. A House committee rejected that proposal.