Mississippi governor Phil Bryant has officially proclaimed April as Confederate Heritage Month. In a statement, Bryant explained that he selected April because it is "the month in which the Confederate States began and ended a four-year struggle.”
The recent declaration was notably omitted from the state's official website, and instead announced quietly on the pro-Confederate website Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Still, the commemoration has sparked outrage within the state, as many groups have taken issue with the governor's failure to explicitly mention the cause of the "struggle" — slavery. NAACP leaders within Mississippi have responded by proposing a Union Army Heritage Month in order to honor the "white and black Mississippi patriots [who] fought for the continuation of the United States of America as one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”
Several other Southern states also celebrate Confederate Heritage month in April, including Florida, Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, and Louisiana. Mississippi, however, stands alone as the only state in the nation to still have Confederate symbols on its flag.