COLUMBUS, Ga. — State Representative Tommy Benton is pushing for House Resolution 644.
The resolution would designate April as “Confederate History Month” and April 26th as “Confederate Memorial Day” at the State Capitol.
Tonza Thomas is President of the Columbus Chapter NAACP.
She says the state shouldn’t have a confederate history month because it’s divisive
She said “It’s symbol of hate, atrocity for African Americans and people of color.”
Local Historian Richard Gardiner said, “Friends and students that I have, who trace their ancestry back to that flag they would say it was heritage.”
The confederate flag has been around for more than a century ans It was used during the civil war, but was never officially adopted.
Holly Wait the Executive Director at the National Civil War Naval Museum said the meaning behind the flag has changed.
“As the klan began to get its development across the south and the north and across the country used the confederate battle flag as their emblem,” said Wait.
Gardiner took news 3’s Ashley Lewis to a confederate cemetery, “When we ask what the civil war was about, certainly slavery was the big issue, but for many of the young men that were fighting… They were fighting for their homes,” said Gardiner.
Gardiner has studied the history of the flag and understands why some are offended.
He said, “for many people the confederate battle flag is a very hateful flag and i understand that and I sympathize.”
Southern heritage for some and symbol of hatred for others.