As Battle Over Confederate Symbols Wages On, South Carolina Observes Confederate Memorial Day Wednesday

 

By Caitlin Byrd
May 9, 2017

 

More than 150 years after the Confederate Army surrendered to Union troops, South Carolina on Wednesday will continue to honor the lives of those who died fighting for secession from the United States.

 

In observance of Confederate Memorial Day, South Carolina state government offices and agencies will be closed. So will all state courts.

 

It has been a state-sanctioned holiday since 2000.

 

South Carolina is one of nine Southern states that hold annual observances, most in April and May, to honor the Confederate war dead, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

 

North Carolina will observe the holiday May 10, the anniversary of Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s death in 1863.

 

The holiday comes at a time when the Confederate flag and those who support Confederate symbols have come under siege.

 

Protesters in New Orleans clashed Sunday over the removal and preservation of Confederate-era monuments in the city.

 

Two years ago, South Carolina lawmakers voted to take down the flag at the Confederate Soldier Monument on the Capitol grounds. Three months ago, the Charleston Black Lives Matter leader was arrested after he attempted to snatch a large Confederate battle flag from a protester outside of the College of Charleston.

 

The flag also surfaced as a campaign issue in South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District special election.

 

The Charleston chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice will hold a panel discussion called “Reflections on Confederate Memorial Day” from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the International Longshoremen’s Association Hall, 1142 Morrison Drive.

 

Civil War re-enactors in the Charleston area traditionally hold ceremonies on the Saturday after the holiday.

 

© 2017, Post and Courier

 

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