In a low key move, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a document declaring that the month of April be “Confederate Heritage Month,” the The Times-Picayune reports.
“Like his predecessors—both Republican and Democrat—who issued similar proclamations, Gov. Bryant believes Mississippi’s history deserves study and reflection, no matter how unpleasant or complicated parts of it may be,” Clay Chandler, the governor office’s communications director, said in a statement.
It’s a common tradition among states like Alabama, Virginia, Texas, and Louisiana to observe April as Confederate History Month, according to the Chicago Tribune, although it has tapered off in recent years, especially after the Dylan Roof shooting, which prompted many stores shuttering the sale of the Confederate flag.
The document concludes with the statement:
“WHEREAS, it is important for all Americans to reflect upon our nation’s past, to gain insight from our mistakes and successes, and to come to a full understanding that the lessons learned yesterday and today will carry us through tomorrow if we carefully and earnestly strive to understand and appreciate our heritage and our opportunities which lie before us.”
The governor said that he made the same declarations in 2012 and 2013. This year, the statement was not posted on the official state website.
Earlier this week, the Mississippi legislature shelved plans to redesign the state flag, which has elements borrowed from the Confederate flag, because a majority vote couldn’t be gathered for any redesign, the Associated Press reports.