In A Flash

In Louisiana, Robert E. Lee Day, Confederate Memorial Day are still legal holidays. That could change

By: - April 20, 2022 2:40 pm

Rep. Matthew Willard offers a bill to remove Confederate holidays from Louisiana’s official calendar to the House Judiciary Committee. (JC Canicosa/Louisiana Illuminator)

Next week may be the last time Louisiana ever marks Confederate Memorial Day.

House Bill 248, authored by Rep. Matthew Willard, D-New Orleans, which would remove Robert E. Lee Day and Confederate Memorial Day as legal state holidays, advanced Wednesday from the House Judiciary Committee unanimously.

“Try to put yourself in my shoes as a young Black man in this state who just found out that those two holidays existed, and how that would affect you,” Willard said to committee members.

Jan. 19 is designated as Robert E. Lee Day, and Confederate Memorial Day is on April 26.

Several cities have removed monuments to Lee and the Lost Cause of the Confederacy, including New Orleans in 2017.

Willard’s bill advances to the full House for a vote. When asked about how he feels the bill will fare there, Willard said, “I talked to people in the Republican Caucus, and we should be fine.”

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JC Canicosa
JC Canicosa

JC Canicosa is a former Louisiana Illuminator reporter. Prior to working with the Illuminator, Canicosa worked for Investigate-TV and The Loyola Maroon. Canicosa earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Loyola University New Orleans. At Loyola, he was the senior staff writer at The Maroon and the president of the school's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Off the clock, Canicosa enjoys playing basketball, watching movies and dabbling in comedy writing.